KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — An Umno delegate today submitted a motion calling for party leaders to not contest the posts of president and deputy in its internal election soon, which will be voted on tomorrow.
Negri Sembilan delegate Mohd Shukri Samsudin submitted the motion in support of president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s keynote speech at the 2022 Umno general assembly (PAU) , saying it aims to safeguard the party’s institutions.
Mohd Shukri’s motion was supported by a Terengganu delegate, Marang Umno chief Datuk Nik Dir Nik Wan Ku, who stated that Umno would have lost even more seats in the recent general election if Zahid was not its president.
"Zahid's leadership is also supported by his Umno supreme council colleagues, especially the deputy president who has never had the ambition to undermine the president's authority," Mohd Shukri said, referring to Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
"So this partnership needs to be maintained," he told Dewan Merdeka at World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur here.
The debate today was not broadcasted live to the public unlike previous iterations of the PAU.
Party information chief Isham Jalil later confirmed the matter to reporters in a press conference.
“Usually we will reach such understanding, we will ask the permanent chairman whether they agree or not. Not just for that particular motion but if I’m not mistaken there were seven,” he said, referring to the delegates.
He also reiterated that for those who are interested in contesting should announce their candidacy as soon as possible so that the contestants will have a level playing field.
“Because I don’t think it’s fair for the incumbent when there were cryptic movement, attacking incumbents without having any idea where it came from,” he added.
Earlier today, Zahid said he would leave it to party delegates to decide if the two posts should be contested in its upcoming party elections.
Zahid acknowledged that there were differing views on whether the top two posts should be contested, but said he had "confidence in the democratic process”.
Utusan Malaysia reported that Dewan Merdeka was thrown into chaos as some delegates aimed to block the motion.
The competition for Umno's presidential and deputy presidential positions caused controversy as party leaders aired differing views on whether it should be contested.
Umno's supreme council has not decided whether the two top positions will be contested in the party election, which must be held before May 19, or within six months of the 15th general election in November last year.