KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Ex-Penang deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin tonight joined Umno, making him the latest Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ally to abandon PKR.
Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak welcomed Fairus, who quit as Penang DCM I and as Penanti assemblyman last year after allegations of graft, at a Silat Seni Gayong meeting in Ampang.
Fairus, who was dressed as a Seni Silat Gayong master, was one of those who greeted Najib at the event.
Another Anwar ally, Bayan Baru MP Datuk Zahrain Hashim, quit PKR this month to protest the party leadership over his spat with Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, whom he called a “dictator, a chauvinist and communist-minded”.
Fairus had submitted his forms to Umno two weeks after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) cleared him and seven other high-profile politicians for graft.
Fairus, 33, quit as Penanti assemblyman last April 16 ostensibly to pursue post-graduate studies and spend time with his family.
Apart from being DCM I, he was also the Penang state executive councillor for enterpreneur and cooperative development, information and community relations.
In his speech, Fairus said he joined Umno after considering the developments for the past three months after the controversial ‘Allah’ ruling.
He claimed PKR’s stand on the issue was disappointing and had gone against its struggles. PKR is part of the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Penang.
“I finally got a clear sign and on the principle of defending religion and people’s interest, I would like to announce that I am leaving PKR to join Umno,” he said before Najib spoke at the meeting.