PADANG BESAR: After originally declaring his intention to join PKR, Datuk Zahidi Zainul has apparently made a U-turn, with him now set to join Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).
Zahidi was Padang Besar member of parliament from 2013 to 2022. He was sacked from Umno after contesting the Padang Besar parliamentary seat and Titi Tinggi state seat as an independent in the 15th General Election.
"Prior to this, I had said that I would be joining Pakatan Harapan, regardless of which component party. Discussions were ongoing with PKR and Amanah.
"But after consulting the grassroots (in Padang Besar), they reckoned that I should join Amanah.
"This is through Amanah, the constituency can be given attention, especially in terms of agriculture, as the Agriculture and Food Security Minister (Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu) is the Amanah president.
"So we are now waiting to present the idea to the powers that be as well as the Amanah leadership. As of today, there are 150 people ready to join PH, regardless of whether it's PKR or Amanah.
"I am however leaning more towards Amanah," he said.
He was speaking to reporters after attending a get together with the residents of Padang Besar in Dewan Bukit Jernih, here today.
He said if his entry into Amanah is approved, support for PH in Padang Besar, especially Amanah will increase as he estimated that 2,000 people would be joining the party in stages eventually.
"In any case, I wish to stress that I'm not interested in any position. My entry is purely to help the local leaders strengthen PH's presence in Padang Besar," he said.
Zahidi was also asked to comment on a statement by Perlis PKR vice-chairman, Asrul Nizan Abd Jalil, who wanted the PKR leadership to close the door to Zahidi as a member.
He had labeled Zahidi 'tong sampah' (rubbish bin).
Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan had also cautioned PH against taking any of the Umno leaders sacked from the party as it could jeopardise the parties' ties within the unity government.
Zahidi, in response, said Ahmad's call was only meant to kill the careers of former Umno leaders who can still contribute to other parties.