Tough fight expected for Umno Youth No. 2

Shahril Hamdan (left) and Bastien Onn are early favourites to be Umno Youth vice-leader.

PETALING JAYA: Although nine contenders are vying to be Umno Youth vice-leader, a tough fight is expected between two, Shahril Hamdan and Bastien Onn.

Johor Umno Youth head, Hahasrin Hashim, said Shahril and Bastien were among the favourites for the post.

He said Shahril had offered a lot of his time and service for the youths in the party.

“He has the potential to be a good leader. So does Bastien. Both are good, and that is why we are expecting a close fight between the two,” he said. “But we really want the grassroots to decide on the best candidate.”

Bastien is head of Segamat Youth while Shahril heads Kuala Langat Youth and is also the head of information for the national Umno Youth wing. They are both on the Youth Professionals’ Bureau of Umno Youth.

The other candidates are Zahrudin Yahya, Sharique Adam Das, Razali Tushan, Halim Sidek Hassan, Ridzuan Hashim Baki, Safhwan Matusin and Fariz Hadi.

Hahasrin said Shahril, who is in his early 30s, was a student leader while studying in London and had won the Kuala Langat Youth leadership without contest.

In a recent interview with FMT, Shahril had said the party must consider all available options, such as becoming multiracial, while it rebuilds after losing power in government at last month’s general election.

He said Umno must not veer from its objective to be the governing party again, even if it meant having to go through several general elections. This called for the rejection of emotional responses, he added.

The two leading contenders to be Umno Youth chief are Khairul Azwan Harun, the current deputy leader, and Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, a former deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

Reject emotions in bid to retake power, Umno told