Zahid’s return will stop the instigators, says Tok Mat

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (right) and Mohamad Hasan were elected president and deputy president of Umno last year. (Bernama pic)

SEPANG: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s decision to resume his duties as Umno president can help to tackle negative perception arising from attempts by different quarters aiming at causing friction among party leaders, said party deputy president Mohamad Hasan.

Mohamad welcomed Zahid’s announcement today that he would resume duties as Umno president after six months of garden leave.

Mohamad, popularly known as Tok Mat, said Zahid’s return would help spur efforts to continue strengthening the party and formulate strategies to face the 15th general election.

“He made a good decision to come back. There has been too much chatter, and it is not good. So, praise God that he wishes to return. His return will put an end to all sorts of talk to put leaders at loggerheads. When he comes back, the party needs to be managed in a just manner.

“We can now continue with the agenda to further strengthen the party, as well as formulate strategies to face the 15th general election,” he told reporters after opening the Sepang Umno delegates meeting today.

In announcing his return to active duty, Zahid had given a reminder that he was the elected president of Umno, and not appointed.

Mohamad said Zahid’s decision to return will also not affect what the former had started before this, when he took on the role as acting party president.

He also said he did not see any issues with Zahid leading Umno, even when he is facing 87 charges in court involving corruption, money laundering and criminal breach of trust.

“No there are no disruptions. Umno will continue to function while Zahid continues to defend himself with the help of his lawyer in court.

“His case is ongoing and I do not think he has much to do in terms of preparation.

“Unless he needs to be in court, which will happen on a working day, after that he can go to the ground as party president and meet the grassroots members in the respective states,” he said.

Zahid made his first official appearance on an Umno stage after six months of rest since last December by opening the Kepong Umno delegates meeting on June 22. He was later seen opening the Masjid Tanah Umno division meeting in Melaka.

On June 21, Mohamad reportedly said that Zahid would not be prevented from officiating at any division meetings even if he was on garden leave. Mohamad said anyone was free to officiate divisional meetings.