Shariff: I am not contesting on a PAS ticket
KEPALA BATAS: Former Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shariff Omar today dismissed talk that he will contest on a PAS ticket in the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary constituency in
the next general election.
Mohd Shariff, who is a former MP for Tasek Gelugor, said his loyalty to Umno should not be questioned as he was still the head of the Permatang Haji Hassan Umno Branch.
He said several blogs had spread the rumours because he was on friendly terms with people from both sides of the political divide.
"I am friendly with everyone. I am friends with (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim), with PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and also Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders. In politics, you have to be friends with everyone regardless of the (political) differences.
"They may have seen me being friendly with PAS leaders and think that I want to cross over and contest on a PAS ticket," he said.
Mohd Shariff said that in the last general election, in 2008, he had made way for Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop to contest the seat following a request by then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
He said he would leave it to Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak to decide whether he should be fielded as the BN candidate for the Tasek Gelugor seat which he described as his stronghold.
Mohd Shariff, 65, was deputy chief minister of Penang from 1995 to 1999, prior to which he was a state executive councillor, from 1982 to 1990.