KUALA LUMPUR: Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (pic) has thanked Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob for his contributions as the party vice-president following his decision not to defend the post in the upcoming party polls.
He said that the party appreciated all the contributions that he made for the party.
"Perhaps that is his big decision. We would like to thank him for that.
"I believe his decision not to defend the post was perhaps because he has reached the highest point of his political career as the prime minister," Ahmad Maslan said during a press conference at the Parliament media centre on Monday (Feb 27).
Earlier, Ismail Sabri told The Star that he would not be retiring from politics yet as he won the fight for the Bera Umno division chief uncontested and he was still the Bera MP.
Ahmad Maslan had also said that he would only be contesting for the Pontian division chief and the Umno supreme council posts instead of the vice-presidency post despite calls for him to do so.
The Pontian MP said the decision was made because he did not want to split the votes since Johor already had three candidates vying for the vice-president post.
The party secretary-general also announced that the party headquarters would deploy 191 officers at each 191 divisions across the country to monitor the development of the party polls next month.
"They will be the go-to person to refer to if there is any issue that arises," he said.
The Umno nomination for the party polls closed on Sunday (Feb 26).
There were initially eight candidates who had filed their papers to contest the three vice-president posts, but Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir has since pulled out of the race.
In the list are incumbents Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, as well as Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad, Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.