BERA, Feb 28 – Former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today denied allegations of him wanting to retire from politics, instead asserting that he will continue to remain active in politics as the Bera MP even though he was no longer an UMNO vice president.

Ismail Sabri said he would also continue to carry out his duties as Bera UMNO Division chief after winning the post unopposed.

“I am still a Member of Parliament for Bera, so I will also continue to serve as the Division chief…and so there is no reason for me to retire. I never said I wanted to retire, I just gave the impression that I will not be running for the vice presidency,” he said.

Ismail Sabri was speaking at a press conference after officiating the closing ceremony of a flood rescue training programme organised by the Pahang Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) involving the participation of 70 representatives from rescue agencies and local community leaders in the Bera district.

Although it is understood that he won unopposed after the Bera UMNO secretary announced there were no other nominations received by the deadline at 5 pm on Feb 26, Ismail Sabri said he would wait for the final decision from the UMNO Headquarters.

Commenting on whether he would make a comeback for any of the party’s top positions in the future or continue to defend the Bera parliamentary seat in the next general election (GE), Ismail Sabri said time would tell.

“Five years is a long time. I will be old at that time… already 68 years old. For some people, 68 is still young and some people feel old. Let’s see (if I’ll contest in the next GE)…I have groomed some young and capable leaders in Bera as well.

“If they perform well, I have no problem giving way to them. Five years is a long period, anything can happen… let’s wait,” he said.


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