VETERAN journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin is dumbfounded by how UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi defended the decision of Malaysia’s oldest political party to appoint those who lost at the recent party polls to hold certain positions inside the party.
Referring to an article published by national news agency Bernama which headline he described as “unusual”, Kadir said if one were to follow the logic of wanting to strengthen growth or a team, “then one would have to appoint people who win brilliantly and succeed in style”.
“But it’s hard to tell if for this so-called ‘sacred’ party, people whom their own members have rejected in the party’s polls can actually strengthen the party,” he penned in his latest Facebook post.
“What’s more, among those they rejected but re-appointed were also people who lost in the recent 15th General Election (GE15). It looks like this party has run out of ideas and is afraid to bring in new generation leaders for fear of being out of line.”
The former Bersatu supreme council member who is now rallying behind Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) struggle may have struck a chord here for Zahid has justified that such move is part of an effort “to ensure wholesomeness in the quest to strengthen UMNO”.
“Those who win, do not win all; those who lose, do not lose all, so I did this inclusion to strengthen the party which in the eyes of outsiders is in a state of chaos,” the Bagan Datuk MP and Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) told newsmen at a Ramadan charity event by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry in Kuala Lumpur last night (March 24).
“Such decisions are made across the Division, Youth, Women’s, Puteri and national levels for I see a new wave whereby I must be with them to build UMNO’s new strength and close ranks among leaders at every level.”
While the posts of UMNO president and deputy president were uncontested during the party polls which ran from Feb 1 to March 18, the maiden UMNO supreme council meeting (2023-2026) on Wednesday (March 22) has appointed Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil as its member in addition to holding the position of Women and Family Affairs Council chairman.
Similarly, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid was appointed as the Kedah UMNO liaison body chairman and Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican as head of the UMNO Elections Department.
Shahrizat had lost in the contest for the position of Women’s chief while Mahdzir and Reezal Merican both lost in the vice-presidential race.
At the UMNO polls held last Saturday (March 18), Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad retained the Wanita chief’s post while the three vice-president posts were won by Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
Moreover, both Mahdzir and Reezal Merican were also defeated at the GE15 in the contest for the Padang Terap and Kepala Batas parliamentary seats respectively. – March 25, 2023
Main pic credit: The Star