KUALA LUMPUR: ‘Warlords’, or those under the impression they were powerful in the party, especially at divisional-level, no longer existed in Umno, said its Supreme Council member, Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.
He said, under Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, party leaders who often went down to the grassroots were seen able to cooperate well.
“This is the difference seen today, as the term (warlord) no longer crops up. Now, I feel there are no more such leaders at the division levels as all are really going down (to the grassroots),” he told reporters after opening the Gombak Umno division 18th delegates meeting here yesterday.
Prior to this, the so-called warlords who were unhappy with the party leadership’s choice of candidates, were said to have been the cause of the political tsunami at the 12th General Election (GE) in 2008, which saw four states fall to the opposition.
Hamzah, who is also Larut member of parliament, gave his assurance that ‘winnable candidates’ as announced earlier by Najib for the 13th GE, would go through a careful selection process covering various aspects.
Meanwhile, on the Merdeka travel campaign of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he said the campaign did not affect the people’s support for Umno.
“What is important to us is not visiting by bus, but the planning carried out for the people by the government yesterday, where a big agenda is being created for the people until 2020,” he said.
Hamzah hoped the Gombak Umno division machinery would take advantage of the various issues in the opposition parties to attract more votes from the 73 per cent Malays in the areas to wrest back the Gombak parliamentary seat. — Bernama