Opposition leader’s post: Zahid to discuss with PAS, other MPs

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says he will discuss the post of opposition leader before the new Parliament session begins on July 16. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly elected Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says he will discuss with Islamist party PAS and other MPs on who should lead the opposition in Parliament.

He said by right, the opposition leader’s post should go to the Umno president.

“But in this case I would like to discuss with PAS first and other MPs to decide who would be the opposition leader in Parliament.

“We are going to have a meeting before July 16 (when Parliament starts) ,” he said at PWTC here.

Zahid won the party president’s post last night with a huge mandate from 78 divisions while his challengers, Khairy Jamaluddin and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, only managed to receive 53 and 28 divisional votes respectively.

On giving Khairy a role in the party, he said he would look at the roles that could be played not only by the former youth leader but also Tengku Razaleigh.

He said this was in line with his promise to move the party forward.

On Barisan Nasional’s new structure, he said it should be based on being a multiracial coalition.

On Mas Ermieyati Samsudin quitting Umno, Zahid  said that he respected the former deputy tourism minister’s decision to do so.

However, he said MPs should remember that they contested on the party’s ticket with the support of the rakyat.

“Decisions must not be made as individuals. The seat is contested under the party,” he said.

Mas Ermieyati said she was leaving Umno because she was disappointed with the results of the party elections which failed to replace the top leadership with new faces.

The former Puteri Umno chief is the third MP from Umno to quit the party after the May 9 polls, which saw Barisan Nasional losing federal power for the first time.

Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Abdul Fasal and Bagan Serai MP Noor Azmi Ghazali Azmi declared themselves as independents, saying they had lost confidence in Umno.