KUALA LUMPUR: Former Melaka chief minister Tan Sri Ali Rustam has supported the proposal that Umno's top three posts should not be contested in the upcoming party elections in April 2019.
Ali, who is the Bukit Katil Umno division chief, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should hold the president's post.
He added that Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein should be allowed to hold the deputy president's post while Khairy Jamaluddin should automatically take one of the three vice-president posts.
"At the national level, we should endorse these three names as we need to strengthen our party and be more mature to act as an effective opposition," he told reporters at the Umno party headquarters at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here on Saturday (May 19).
The Registrar of Societies (RoS) has allowed the extension of the Umno supreme council polls to Apr 19 next year.
The RoS said the extension was in line with Clause 10.17 in the constitution of societies, which allowed for the postponement of election at the supreme council, division, and branch levels within 18 months of the supposed date of election.
The RoS also cautioned all political parties and other societies to conduct their affairs according to the constitution of registered societies and the Societies Act 1966 (Act 335).
The Umno supreme council election was originally due to be held in 2017.
Ali however said that other party posts at the division and the national level should be allowed to be contested as usual.
"For us, especially in my division, we are hoping for younger faces to join the party leadership.
"We open our doors as wide as possible for anyone to contest," he said.
Ali, who lost in the Hang Tuah Jaya parliamentary seat in the 14th general election, said that he has no intention of contesting any of the top party posts at the national level.
"That time (for me) has passed but if my supporters want me to stay or leave at the division level, I will let them decide," he said.
He also hoped the upcoming party elections will not create more friction between members and leaders.
"If an individual wins, they should be a good leader and those who lose should accept and be good followers.
"We need this spirit to create a stronger party," he said.