The Star, Sunday March 30, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR: Despite his earlier view that the Umno election should be postponed, supreme council member Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says he abides by the wishes of the grassroots that the polls be held this year.
“It is hoped that the elections at all levels will not add more problems at the grassroots level. Rather, the election should strengthen unity among members,” he said in a statement yesterday.
On Thursday, party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that Umno would hold its general assembly and main party elections in December.
The polls will kick off at branch level between July 17 and Aug 24, followed by division polls between Oct 9 and Nov 9.
Zahid, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the party’s agenda should be given priority and everyone should put aside their own agenda and revive the leadership’s strength.
In Bahau, supreme council member Datuk Mustapa Mohamad told Bernama that it was better to hold party polls this year as the problem would not be resolved with a postponement.
“What is important now is for us to rehabilitate the party,” he said.
Jelebu Umno division deputy head Datuk Yunus Rahmat said Umno members were thankful to the supreme council for making a decision based on the wishes of the grassroots.
On the contest for the posts of Umno president and deputy president, Yunus felt it would be better if there were no contests.
In Malacca, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said that guidelines on regulations to prevent money politics would be updated ahead of party meetings beginning in July.
“The update is being done by the party’s constitution and rules bureau chaired by (vice-president) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and are expected to be ready before the branch meetings begin,” he said.