Malaysia

Kadir Sheikh Fadzir forms new party, could bolster opposition to BN in polls

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir has left NGO Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah) to form a new political party which could bolster opposition towards Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general election.

The former Umno supreme council member will now head Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan) after serving as Amanah’s deputy president for just over a year.

Abdul Kadir (picture) refused to divulge details of his new party, but said that “all will be revealed” next Thursday.

“There will be an official launch and a press conference after that… I will answer queries then,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.

While the former Umno minister has not announced which coalition he supports, he has been openly critical against his one-time party, even accusing Umno of vote-buying.

He claimed back in January that Umno handed out cash in previous election campaigns in attempts to buy votes, a tactic known as “bomb”, and that he had himself seen how cash handouts ranging from RM200 to RM1,000 were used in BN’s campaigns to gain voter support.

The former tourism minister has previously said he has not ruled out joining Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and has been spotted attending and giving speeches at opposition rallies.

He also took part in the April 28 Bersih rally in the capital city alongside PR leaders such as the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Abdul Kadir quit Umno early this year to focus on carrying the “original fight” of the party’s founding fathers for equality and democracy through Amanah.

But his abrupt exit from the NGO, led by former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, raises the question on the group’s future plans and direction.

But Amanah central committee member Wan Saiful Wan Jan stressed that “all is well” and that Amanah was still very much intact despite Abdul Kadir’s departure.

“He (Abdul Kadir) tendered in his resignation three or four weeks ago, all the members were notified.

“We have agreed that Amanah will stay out of politics and remain as an NGO, but at the same time we won’t stop anyone from joining politics or forming a political party,” Wan Saiful told The Malaysian Insider.

“We have chosen to go the civil society way,” he said.

Invites for Ikatan’s official launch on Thursday have been sent out to media organisations. According to the invite, it will take place at the Palace of the Golden Horses here at 8.30am.

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