Ex-governor with long history in Umno hits campaign trail for Harapan

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MALACCA POLLS | Mohd Khalil Yaakob, who served as Malacca’s governor from 2004 to 2020, has hit the campaign trail in the state for Pakatan Harapan.

Prior to becoming the Malacca governor, the 83-year-old Mohd Khalil had served as an assemblyperson and MP for various seats in Pahang and also became the Pahang menteri besar from 1986 to 1999 under Umno.

Khalil had been spotted on the campaign trail assisting Amanah candidates since Monday but is now also making rounds with candidates from other Harapan component parties.

He has generally been reserved in his campaigning, often stressing that he only just retired as the governor and must maintain some degree of neutrality.

His campaigning has mostly been on having conservations and tea with Harapan’s candidates while making his presence felt.

In his latest visit this morning, Khalil had coffee with Harapan’s candidate for Gadek G Saminathan, who is from DAP.

Former Malacca governor Mohd Khalil Yaakub and DAP Gadek candidate G Saminathan at Kampung Gadek Warung, Malacca

“I’ve only just retired, I can’t take political questions but this candidate (Saminathan), he’s likable, hardworking and energetic,” he said.

He urged voters to carry out their responsibility on polling day (Nov 20).

Khalil will also be travelling to Asahan, Pengkalan Batu, Duyong and Telok Mas to meet Harapan candidates later today, all of which are battleground seats which the coalition must win if it is to stand a chance of winning the state government.

A video of Khalil has also been circulated showing him praising Harapan chief ministerial candidate Adly Zahari.

“Adly is an intellectual. Well-read, and he follows the latest developments be it politics, finance, or other topics.

“Because of that, he was able to become an effective chief minister,” said Khalil.

Four chief ministers had served under Khalil’s governorship, including Umno’s Mohd Ali Rustam, Idris Haron, and Sulaiman Md Ali as well as Amanah’s Adly.

Khalil retired in June 2020, three months after the collapse of the Harapan state government and the installation of the Umno-Bersatu government under Sulaiman.

“Personally, as governor, even though I cannot be involved in politics, I admire the qualities in him (Adly),” he said.

“He is very gentlemanly. If you want to know he is a puppet or not, the answer is ‘no’,” he said.

“He is a pragmatist, someone who practices practicality,” he added.

He also disputed attacks by Harapan’s opponents that Adly is a DAP stooge, a claim often used to label DAP allies.

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