Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin may stand as a candidate in the administrative capital of Putrajaya at the next general election in what would mark his first time contesting outside of Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, where he has claimed victory three times, MalaysiaNow has learnt.
This comes as Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan looks set to replace Khairy in Rembau.
This would be Mohamad’s first attempt at joining federal politics after helming Negeri Sembilan for more than a decade before losing the state in the 2018 election.
Putrajaya, which was long considered a “safe seat” for Umno during its domination of the federal government due to its majority composition of civil servants, has known no MP other than Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
Putrajaya first became a parliamentary constituency in the 2004 general election. Tengku Adnan has won all four elections since, defeating candidates from PKR, PAS and Bersatu.
But MalaysiaNow has learnt from a well-placed source in Umno that the move to allow Khairy to contest in Putrajaya is due to Tengku Adnan’s recent conviction of corruption.
He is appealing against the verdict, “but it would take a long time and involve many legal stages”, the source added.
“So he will not be able to contest if GE15 is called in the near future.”
It is also understood that the move to bring Khairy to Putrajaya would disrupt Tengku Adnan’s plan to groom his son as a candidate there.
“His son Tengku Iqbal has been making appearances together with his father to various events and meet-the-voters programmes in Putrajaya,” said the source.
Mohamad, better known as Tok Mat, has been eyeing a foray into federal politics ever since he became Umno deputy president.
He first indicated his interest in standing in Rembau during an Umno branch meeting last year.
“I have to move to federal (politics) and there’s a strong possibility that at GE15, I will offer to stand as a parliamentary candidate in Rembau,” he said.
Mohamad had also assured that Umno would give Khairy a “safe seat” in return.