UMNO will continue to support the Selangor government despite its grassroots members’ decision to turn down 20 local councillor posts that had been offered, said Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The UMNO president’s comment came following the party’s state chapter declined the 20 local councillor posts Pakatan Harapan had offered to them out of 288 councillor seats in Selangor.
Zahid said he respected the collective decisions made by the 22 UMNO state division heads during a meeting on Sunday (Jan 21) and denied that greed played a part in the decision.
“I respect their decision to reject the 20 local council posts offered. They are not discouraged, but they want to play a role independently and not sit as members of the local council,” Zahid told reporters at a press conference after an engagement session with the Malaysian Motorcycle Association in Putrajaya today (Jan 22).
“Although we are not part of the local councils, we will keep supporting all state government programmes held by the local councils.
“[However] there is no question of greed in this matter because we have 22 division chiefs (in the state). So, if some get it and some don’t, it’s better that they all don’t get it.”
In rejecting the offer, Selangor UMNO instead asked for 373 Village Development and Security Committee positions in the state.
Zahid further said UMNO will leave the matter to the discretion of Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.
“Even though we are outside the local government leadership we still support the programmes of the state government through them,” he stressed, adding that UMNO is far from feeling discouraged and will continue to “play its role independently”.
Last Saturday, Selangor UMNO chief Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin announced the party’s decision to leave all the local council posts to PH, its former political nemesis-turned-ally.
He denied claims that UMNO had pressured PH, claiming that the decision to give up was to prove that the Maaly national party was not greedy for posts.
He added that the decision had been made during the Selangor UMNO meeting attended by all 22 divisions at its Shah Alam office on January 19.
Previously, Megat Zulkarnain said the quota of 20 positions allocated to UMNO was a mere 7% of the 288 member positions, involving 12 local councils in the state.
Last year, the UMNO-led BN coalition joined forces with PJ to contest the state election in Selangor following the formation of the federal unity government. The cooperation saw PH-BN winning 34 out of 56 seats in the state assembly. – Jan 22, 2024
Main pic credit: Bernama