JOHOR BAHRU – Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi confirmed today that he has resigned as the director-general of the Special Affairs Department (JASA), ending speculation that he would quit if he was not nominated as a Barisan Nasional candidate for a seat in Johor in the 14th general election on May 9.
He said in a post on his Facebook account that today was his last day at the department and that he would not budge from his decision to quit.
Mohd Puad had contested as the BN candidate for the Batu Pahat parliamentary seat in the 13th general election, in 2013, but lost to Datuk Mohd Idris Jausi of PKR by 1,732 votes.
Last Monday, Johor BN chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khalid Nordin announced Batu Pahat Wanita UMNO chief Haliza Abdullah as the electoral candidate for Batu Pahat.
Until last Sunday night, a message believed to be from Mohd Puad had circulated on WhatsApp expressing his desire to resign as the JASA chief and contest GE14 as an independent candidate if he was not nominated by the BN.
Mohd Puad, who is the Batu Pahat UMNO Division chief, did not say anything on his position in UMNO.
He was appointed the JASA director-general in March 2015. He thanked the JASA staff for their assistance when he helmed the department.
“Indeed, many will condemn me. I remain steadfast. That’s the end of my history at JASA. It was a hot spot. The DAP had brought a motion in Parliament early this year seeking the dissolution of JASA. Prior to this, PH (Pakatan Harapan) had proposed in its budget that JASA should be shut down.
“If you want me to recall one by one, I have done a lot for JASA, so much so that it has become increasingly known including in the interior areas of Sabah and Sarawak and also among Malaysian students abroad,” he said in the post. – BERNAMA