Umno’s new leaders to hit the ground running


The party's acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan at the press conference after an Umno supreme council meeting at Menara Dato Onn, Kuala Lumpur. FAIHAN GHANI/The Star.

The party's acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan at the press conference after an Umno supreme council meeting at Menara Dato Onn, Kuala Lumpur. FAIHAN GHANI/The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: The two new leaders at the helm of Umno have an action plan to stem the tide of party defections and strengthen the party, including giving more autonomy to state leaders.

 

The leadership restructuring is aimed at stopping stop “the second and third wave” of lawmakers from leaving the party, said Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

 

He said the party has outlined several priorities, the foremost being to endorse the new line-up and to set the party on the path to becoming the voice of the people.

 

“We are doing this so we will be able stop the bleeding first.

 

“And I am confident that with the latest development, the pressure and talk (of more members jumping) have been reduced so there will not be a second or third wave (of resignations),” he said.

 

The Umno management committee announced on Wednesday that Mohamad would act as the party’s acting president while vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob would assume the duties of his deputy.

 

Since the May 9 general election, 17 MPs from Umno have quit the party as calls grew for Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to step down.

 

Ahmad Zahid on Tuesday announced he was stepping aside as party president.

 

Mohamad was speaking at a press conference after chairing a special supreme council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here yesterday.

 

Also present were Ismail Sabri, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, Wanita chief Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad, and Puteri chief Datuk Zahida Zarik Khan.

 

Mohamad, who remained calm as reporters bombarded him with questions, said he would personally meet with all Umno MPs to discuss the latest developments with them.

 

“Based on our conversations and discussions with some of them, these lawmakers seem more calm now.

 

“They are satisfied with the current situation, and other top party leaders and I myself will make sure that all of our MPs are comfortable with the new leadership.

 

“Their intention to jump or quit will be stopped, Insya-Allah (God willing),” he said.

 

Mohamad added that Umno has drawn up strategies to continue bringing up the grouses of the people, to win in the 15th general election, and to give more autonomy to state leaders.

 

“We want the state liaison committees and their chairmen to feel the sense of belonging by drawing up their own strategies in their own states – rather than we feed them with what needs to be done.

 

“I do not think any other way is practical because the situation differs from one state to another. There is no such thing as one size fits it all,” he said.

 

He stressed that the supreme council had also given full autonomy to Sabah Umno although many MPs there have quit the party.