Ahmad Zahid warns Umno about 1987 scenario

DATUK SERI DR AHMAD ZAHID HAMIDI

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi welcomed the announcement by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to race with him in the party election for the presidency, describing it as a reflection of democracy within Umno.

The Umno vice president who is also handling the responsibilities of the president following Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s decision to step down on May 12, said Tengku Razaleigh’s announcement was also proof of the party’s commitment to allow all party posts to be open for any member to contest.

However, Ahmad Zahid who is also former deputy prime minister warned the party, in reference to the conflicts within Umno in 1987, against dividing itself, again.

“Umno must continue to consolidate despite its dismal performance in the 14th general election, and regroup as a team.

“Priority to look after Umno is more important than any position, because a post is a responsibility, not a political reward.

“Umno is now out of the court of power,” he said in Facebook, a few hours after Tengku Razaleigh held a media conference to announce his decision to contest in the party presidency on June 30.

The 81-year-old Umno veteran who is also Gua Musang Umno Division chief said he decided to enter the fray after studying the party’s position and situation particularly with regards to leadership.

Ahmad Zahid said he also hoped the campaign would not serve as a stage for character assassination among the candidates.

“The contest should be a friendly tussle, in good fellowship,” he said, adding, he would keep an open mind and readily accept whoever wins in the contest.

He added that the open party election was intended to prepare Umno in facing external political foes rather than creating enemies among members. — Bernama

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