JOHOR BARU: Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pic) is the second minister from Johor who will likely not be fielded by Barisan Nasional in the 15th General Election (GE15).

The Tenggara MP and Umno division chief, who is also the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, may be dropped to make way for a fresh face, said a source.

“Barisan is likely to field the division’s youth chief Manndzri Nasib for the Tenggara parliamentary seat.

“It is very surprising to hear about Dr Adham being dropped as he is well known among voters in the constituency.

“The news that his name is not part of the Johor Barisan candidates list came at the last hour despite him also being the state Umno information chief,” said the source.

Speculation about Dr Adham’s exclusion intensified following his absence at two programmes held at his constituency yesterday morning.

Besides Dr Adham, the other minister from Johor who will not be contesting in GE15 is National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, who was the Kota Tinggi MP.

Halimah, also from the Tenggara division, will make way for Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

Meanwhile, a former state executive councillor is tipped to make a political comeback in Mersing. Datuk Abd Latif Bandi, 56, will likely get the nod to contest on Barisan’s ticket.

“Abd Latif is well liked and highly respected in Mersing. He has also cleared his name of graft charges twice in court, so he does not have any baggage for Umno and Barisan,” said the same source.

On Aug 7, the Johor Baru Sessions Court acquitted the former Johor housing and local government executive councillor, his son Ahmad Fauzan Hatim, 30, and a property consultant, Amir Shariffuddin Abd Raub, 49, of all corruption and money laundering charges related to a land and housing scandal in 2017.