JOHOR BARU, Jan 24 — Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin today confirmed that he will not be contesting in the upcoming Johor state election.

This confirmation somewhat put to rest heavy speculation that the former Johor mentri besar and former Permas assemblyman will be making a comeback via the state election.

“I can confirm that I won’t be contesting,” he said briefly when contacted by Bernama.

Asked if this was to pave the way for younger candidates, the Pasir Gudang Umno chief said matters involving candidacy have yet to be decided.

“Candidates will be decided by the party in due time,” he said.

There have been talks that Mohamed Khaled will be making a comeback, fuelled further after he posted a picture of him with Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar after being granted an audience with His Majesty at Istana Pelangi on January 14.

In the 14th general election (GE14), Mohamed Khaled was defeated in Permas by Datuk Seri Che Zakaria Mohd Salleh (Bersatu) by a 8,746-vote majority.

He also lost the Pasir Gudang parliamentary seat to Hassan Abdul Karim of PKR. — Bernama