BAGAN DATUK (March 18): Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi expressed hope that the results of 189 division elections on Saturday (March 18) will serve as a step towards the party’s revival.
The Barisan Nasional coalition chairman said as the leadership that would be elected on Saturday not only involves the central level, but also involves the state and division levels, and it is necessary to move together and work as a team in facing the upcoming election for six states, namely Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu.
“Whether these individuals are known or unknown, Umno is very democratic, where the method to become a candidate is to register after they qualify as a candidate.
“My hope is that the decision to be made by the 189 divisions will serve as a step for Umno Revival 2.0,” he said when met at the Bagan Datuk Umno division election here on Saturday.
Zahid, who is also a deputy prime minister, stressed that democracy in Umno continues to flourish, when candidates offer themselves to contest, despite the party being said to be experiencing a "dark" period.
Umno elections were being held from Feb 1 to March 18, with the branch-level elections being held from Feb 1 to 26, followed by the elections for the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings at the national level on March 11.
The party divisional delegates’ meetings and committee elections, as well as contests for seats in the Umno supreme council, were set to be held simultaneously nationwide on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Zahid expressed hope that the elected supreme council members will be able to strengthen the party. He also stressed that Umno needs to embrace digitalisation to gain the support of voters, including new ones.
“My hope is that we choose the best candidates among the best, so that we don't make the wrong choice this time, even though I celebrate the difference of views and opinions, we should not differ in our views when the party makes decisions, especially big decisions.
“Now we are in the unity government, and we support the concept of Malaysia Madani. We are part of the government.
He said that the compatibility between Umno and the component parties of Barisan Nasional, together with the parties supporting the unity government, began to show positive development at the national, parliamentary and state constituency levels, as well as at the district polling centre and locality levels.
Touching on his daughter Datuk Nurulhidayah who failed to win the Bagan Datuk Umno Wanita chief post, Zahid said the results proved that there was no interference at all levels of the party elections.