Wan Ahmad Farid is BN’s choice
Muda Mohd Noor | Dec 20, 08 4:50pm
Deputy Home Minister Senator Wan Ahmad Farid Salleh is Barisan Nasional’s standard bearer for the Jan 17 Kuala Terengganu by-election.
His candidacy was announced by Deputy Premier Najib Tun Razak in Kuala Terengganu at 4.50pm today.
The selection of Wan Ahmad Farid was not a surprise. He was the firm favourite for weeks due to his popularity in Terengganu, where he also heads the Kuala Terengganu Umno division.
He is also considered a ‘political heavyweight’, which is an advantage because the parliamentary seat was previously held by a deputy minister – Razali Ismail, who died of a heart attack on Nov 28.
The 46-year-old former lawyer who graduated from Thames Valley University, London was born and raised in Kuala Terengganu.
Meanwhile, arch-rival PAS, who will carry the Pakatan Rakyat banner, have yet to name its candidate. However, the party is said to have narrowed its choices to Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi, state chief Mustafa Ali and vice-president Mohamad Sabu.
Party leaders are expected to make a decision tomorrow after a central working committee meeting, which will take into consideration feedback from local divisions.
13 years in politics
Wah Ahmad Farid was a former syarie lawyer and secretary of the Terengganu Bar Committe in 1987.
Eight years later, he got involved in politics after becoming an Umno committee member in the Kuala Terengganu Umno Youth division. It took Wan Ahmad Farid three years to become the division’s Youth chief. He was appointed Youth exco from 1999 to 2001.
In 2001, he was chosen to be the deputy chairperson for the Kuala Terengganu Umno division which later saw him being appointed political secretary to the home minister on Dec 31, 2003. This was when he decided to move away from his legal profession.
He then became the Kuala Terengganu division chief after defeating senator Roslan Awang Chik.
BN is set to face a heated battle not only from PAS, but from Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim) and three others who have expressed interest in the seat.
The three are 89-year-old Maimun Yusuf, who contested in the March 8 general election, entrepreneur Mohd Azlan Ismail and Isma Arifath Hassanuddin from Rantau Panjang, Kelantan.