Despite highly confident of winning the Kulim election petition, the Barisan Nasional today dropped the case as speculation mounted that Zulkifli Nordin could join Umno.
Zulkifli's likely defection will be a setback for opposition icon Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who has been talking about BN lawmakers joining him in an attempt to unseat the BN federal government.
The first time Kulim MP was absent from Parliament today where Anwar slammed BN for economic mismanagement in light of the global financial crisis.
The lawyer, who has faced controversy recently for leading a group against a Bar Council interfaith forum, was one of the first to defend Anwar when the latter was sacked a decade ago.
PKR has yet to take action against Zulkifli, who said he is a Muslim above anything else. His fellow PKR members, coalition allies and non-Muslims have blasted his action but he has refused to change his stand.
The Alor Star High Court today struck out the Kulim-Bandar Baru election petition when BN withdrew it, ensuring Zulkifli remains as MP.
The BN had filed the petition as it claimed Zulkifli had failed to submit his statement of expenditure from his 2004 general election campaign.
Under the Election Act, candidates who do not submit their statement of expenditure to the Election Commission can be disqualified from contesting in future elections.
The petition was filed by Umno's losing candidate Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir against Zulkifli and the Election Commission.
In the March 8 2008 general election, Zulkifli won the seat, which has 51,995 voters, by a margin of 5,583.
In the 2004 polls, Zulkifli contested the Kuala Langat parliamentary seat in Selangor but lost to Umno's Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh.
From Malaysian Insider