Stop calls to expedite party polls, Tajuddin tells KJ

PETALING JAYA: The infighting in Umno surfaces again, this time with supreme council member Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman warning outspoken Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin not to raise issues pertaining to the possible delays on party polls any more.

According to Utusan Malaysia, Tajuddin accused Khairy of chasing for party positions in his latest call to expedite party polls.

"KJ seemed so excited to solve internal party issues, apparently because he wanted us to unite and face GE15. When Umno fell, we lost the elections, where was he?

"I'm issuing a warning here, don't think we are stupid. We know who he is, what he has done, and what he wants.

"We are the ones who worked hard in ensuring Umno and Barisan Nasional rise again and formed Muafakat Nasional," he said at a press conference after launching the Kampong Gajah Fire and Rescue Department station in Pasir Salak on Saturday (April 3).

Tajuddin also said that if party polls were held before GE15, it could undermine the party's election machinery in taking on the general election.

"We need to be prepared mentally and physically. So if we talk about party polls before the general election, we will lose focus," he said.

Tajuddin, who is also Pasir Salak MP, claimed it is impossible for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to postpone GE15 until 2023, given the uncertainty in the current government.

"But I understand some people want to have party positions so that when the general election comes, he will be able to ensure that (party) decisions side with him.

"Be patient, let's deal with the general election first. After that, if you want to contest the presidency or deputy presidency, go ahead," he said.

Umno seems split between factions that want to remain with the Perikatan Nasional government and the other that wants to sever ties with Perikatan.

Khairy had recently called for the Umno supreme council to expedite party polls in order to put an end to the infighting.

However, Najib had argued against party polls being expedited, as he said party polls held before GE15 could cause further division in the party.

Umno, which has 3.35 million members as of March 26, was due for a party election last year, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under Umno's constitution, party polls can be postponed by the supreme council to up to 18 months from the date when it was supposed to be held.

Umno party elections are held every three years and the last party polls were on June 30, 2018.

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