The announcement by former Besut Member of Parliament, Tan Sri Idris Jusuh, not to run in the 15th General Election (GE-15), on November 19, is raising questions among politicians in Terengganu.
There are those who speculate and ask if there is an internal problem in UMNO Besut or is there another reason?
That’s because Idris’ absence will present an even more bitter challenge to UMNO-Barisan Nasional (BN) to defend the seat at GE.
This is because Idris’ influence is said to be too difficult to challenge by the opposition in the seat that has been one of UMNO’s strongholds for so long.
Idris, who is also a former Minteri Besar from Terengganu and quite synonymous with Besut voters last Monday, explained that the decision was made to make room for young candidates in line with the UMNO’s desire to rejuvenate the party.
Indeed, he said, with a young leadership in place, he is confident that the future of the party will be more vibrant and will be liked by many voters.
He is also the Chairman of the Federal Council for Land Development (FELDA) who started competing in GE in 1995 as a Member of Parliament for Besut when he was 40 years old.
However, at GE 10, in 1999, he lost the Kampung Raja State Assembly (DUN) seat, but was again delegated as a member of the Guerti State Assembly (DUN) for two consecutive terms in 2004 and 2008.
While at GE14, 2018, Idris won Bisout’s parliamentary seat by 4,599 votes in a three-way contest.
who got 34,335 votes defeated the Bass candidate, Professor Rizwan Muhammad Noor who got 29,736 votes, and Ir Wan Nazari Wan Jusoh (PKR) who got 6,864 votes.
Therefore, many analysts and political observers are puzzled whether it is possible for Idris’ decision to keep Besut’s parliamentary seat under the control of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) or to move to the PNR represented by the PAS.
It is understood that the PAS-PN will take over the commissioner of Terengganu PAS, Senator Datuk Husain Awang who has been mentioned as a candidate to contest the seat.
Meanwhile, among the names of the UMNO-BN candidates mentioned as candidates to replace Idris are Besut UMNO squad leader Datuk Nawi Muhammad and Girte State Council member Datuk Muhammad Bhimi Yusuf.
In addition, Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Pejuang are also expected to field their nominees, making this seat likely to see four-corner competition.
This development at the same time makes the competition and struggle for Bessot’s parliamentary seat more exciting and open.