KUALA LUMPUR: Some 130 Umno division chiefs nationwide have voiced their support for Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to remain as the party’s president.
Wangsa Maju Umno chief Shafie Abdullah said 90 of them met Zahid at the party’s headquarters here, while the remaining 40 voiced their support for the Umno president via text message.
Shafie also urged Umno division chiefs who had called for Zahid’s resignation to “come back” so that the party could be united.
“For us, we are open to Umno uniting, because we only won 30 seats. If we don’t unite (it will be bad for Umno’s future),” he told reporters here.
He went on to chide BN component parties, MCA, MIC, and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), over their calls for Zahid’s resignation.
“This is despite us bringing them (to this point), carrying them for decades. The seats they won were in Malay majority areas. (But) when we’re (in critical) condition, they (shift their support against Zahid).”
Zahid, who was present at the meeting, declined to comment as he was rushing to Istana Negara to witness Anwar Ibrahim’s swearing-in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister.
BN only won 30 seats in the recent general election, its worst electoral performance ever, prompting certain leaders and members to call for Zahid’s resignation.
They include Khairy Jamaluddin, Noh Omar, Shahril Hamdan and Johor menteri besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi.
MCA had also called for Zahid to step down as BN chairman, citing his letter to the King stating the coalition’s support for Anwar as prime minister.
MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon said this letter went against BN’s stand to remain in the opposition and not to back anyone seeking to form the government.
MCA, MIC, and PBRS had submitted no-confidence motions against Zahid for allegedly betraying the BN Supreme Council’s previous decision to abstain from supporting any party in forming the government.