I will remain in Umno even if defeated, declares Zahid

Zahid says if he wins, he will not leave anyone behind and will welcome them to assist him in strengthening the party with their reform agendas. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Acting Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today said he would remain in the party should he face defeat in the upcoming Umno presidential election.

Speaking to reporters during a group interview at the Umno headquarters, Zahid said he would assist anyone who emerges as party president in the coming presidential election.

“I will contribute my ideas to help reinforce and strengthen Umno.

“If I win, as I mentioned, I will not leave anyone behind and will welcome them to assist me in strengthening the party with their reform agendas,” he said.

Zahid is in the race with four contenders for the president’s post after two were disqualified on Thursday.

Zahid will face Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, outgoing Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, Bandar Tun Razak committee member Mohamed Iqbal Maricair and Iskandar Puteri member Mohd Yusof Musa @ Jamaluddin.

By contesting for the president’s post, Zahid hoped to offer continuity in leadership for the party.

“Firstly, because I have been given the trust to take up all of the duties of the Umno president. My offer to contest is as a continuation of what I have been doing.

“I have been entrusted with the mandate of an acting Umno president and wish to continue this.

“Secondly, I have given Khairy the responsibility to head a task force to revamp and rebrand Umno, based on the proposals received from Barisan Nasional (BN) members.

“If there are changes to be made, they should be made through the Umno general assembly or an extraordinary general assembly, in accordance with the party constitution.”

Zahid said while Tengku Razaleigh has the advantage of being a candidate with more experience, any decisions over who will be the new Umno president will be left to the delegates on June 30.

“To me, every candidate has his own advantages and disadvantages.”

Meanwhile, Najib urged Umno members to allow time for the Pakatan Harapan government to implement its promises.

“As for Umno-BN, we will be an opposition that is constructive and has a high calibre.

“We will ensure unity among Malays is maintained and they are not exploited by certain groups,” he said.