KUALA LUMPUR: Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has thrown his hat into the ring by announcing that he will be defending his post at the party elections.
“I am pleased to announce that I will be defending the Umno vice-presidency for a second term.
“Umno is currently in a very challenging situation and I took the decision to continue the fight (with Umno) through my experience in politics, as well as both federal and state administrations,” he told a press conference at the Seri Pacific Hotel here yesterday after submitting his nomination form.
Mahdzir also said he would continue his struggles with Umno, adding that he strived to restore the party to its past glory.
“I appeal to all Umno members to entrust me with this responsibility,” he added.
Mahdzir, who was elected to the post in the 2018 party polls, said Umno was now in a tight spot, noting its poor showings during the 2018 and 2022 general elections.
“The party obtained an unfavourable perception which resulted in our dismal performance.
“The current leadership has to come up with measures to regain the people’s confidence,” he said.
The former minister said Umno had also been around for more than seven decades, adding that each decade came with its own set of challenges.
“God willing, in the coming decades, Umno can rise again to become a strong and respectable party especially among the Malays,” he noted.
Responding to a question that he is in the same camp with suspended former vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Mahdzir said he always put the party first regardless of the situation.
“Everything I have achieved is because of Umno. Even when I was the Kedah mentri besar or held various Cabinet positions, it was because of the party,” he said.
Other than Mahdzir, party vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin had also confirmed that he would defend his post, leaving only former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who had remained tight-lipped.
The party’s new office bearers will be elected from Feb 1 to March 18, but the positions of president and deputy president will not be contested this time.