Penang Umno is confident that the top two leaders are the best in steering the party forward for another term
The state Umno liaison committee reached a unanimous decision to fully back the duo in its meeting held at Menara Umno here today.
Announcing this, Penang Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman said the state party leadership believed that Najib and Muhyiddin would be the best leaders to lead the party after Umno’s improved electoral results in the recently held 13th general election.
Zainal pointed out that Umno had increased its parliamentary seats from 79 in 2008 general election to 88 this year.
He also noted that the second party winning the most seats, the DAP, had only won 38 seats, a difference of 50 seats, while PAS only won 21 federal seats.
He said Umno, not only has emerged as the strongest Malay representative party, but also as the biggest party with most seats and popular support in the country today.
“We have left other parties like DAP and PAS far behind.
“The electoral success showed that Najib and Muhyiddin are the right leaders to lead the party now,” Zainal told a press conference after the meeting
However, the state Umno did not make a decision on the call for a “no contest” for the top two party positions.
Later Zainal told FMT that the state Umno did not want to make the call as it would be perceived as “undemocratic.”
Some 150,000 members will vote during the Umno supreme council election, including presidential election which is scheduled to be held next month.
Another 100,000 eligible members will vote for the leaderships of Umno wings, namely Youth, Wanita and Puteri.
Musa for supreme council
Penang Umno has also decided to unanimously support newly appointed liaison committee secretary Musa Sheikh Fadzir as a candidate for the supreme council polls.
Zainal said the state Umno decided to back Musa, also Bukit Mertajam Umno head, to have a strong and vocal representation in the top leadership.
He said Penang Umno would consider supporting other state aspirants, if any, for the supreme council and other party wings.
Zainal and state Umno deputy chairman Dr Hilmi Yahya have both announced that they would not seek reelection this time.
“We support Musa because he can do a good job for the party, people and country,” said Zainal, who also heads the Nibong Tebal division.
Musa said he had offered himself as a candidate for the first time because he wanted to lend a strong voice to defend Malay rights in party leadership.
On his handicap of not having any position in the government or as elected representative, he said he would leave that to party members in deciding his fate.
Apart from Musa’s appointment, the state liaison committee has appointed Pinang Tunggal assemblyman Roslan Saidin as its treasurer and Tasek Gelugor division chief and MP Shahbudin Yahya as information chief.
On whether Umno would take over the vacant state Barisan Nasional chairman post, he said he would leave it to the top management to decide on it.
The chairman post fell vacant after its former chief; Gerakan secretary-general Teng Chang Yeow quit the position immediately following BN’s electoral defeat in the May 5 polls.
Zainal however, indicated that Umno would back Teng to continue to lead state BN.
He said the chairman position would be finalised only after Umno, Gerakan and MIC had finished their internal polls this year.