PETALING JAYA: Former Johor menteri besar Hasni Mohammad has decided to join the race for the post of Umno vice-president in the party polls on March 18.
In the recent shake-up in Umno, which saw some leaders sacked or suspended by the party’s Supreme Council, Hasni was also affected as he was dropped as Johor Umno chief, with incumbent vice-president Khaled Nordin taking over the role.
Hasni, who is Simpang Renggam MP, said he is now ready to contest one of the three vice-president posts, Berita Harian reported.
“In the spirit of continuing to serve Umno at all levels, I’m offering myself as vice-president,” Hasni was quoted as saying.
“I hear there may be 10 contenders. This proves that Umno remains relevant despite claims that it has been rejected by the community.
“With many leaders throwing their hats into the ring, it is a positive sign that the Umno leadership is not abandoning the party’s struggle.”
After he was dropped as Johor Umno chief last month, Hasni, who is also Benut assemblyman, was reported to have said that he felt bullied despite leading Barisan Nasional (BN) to a landslide victory in the Johor state polls last March.
Aside from Khaled, the other two current Umno vice-presidents are former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and former education minister Mahdzir Khalid.
Yesterday, Khaled, who is higher education minister, was the first Umno leader to declare his candidacy for the post of vice-president.
Meanwhile, Ismail said he had not decided whether to defend his post at the upcoming party elections.
“I still have not decided. I am still considering the matter,” he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.
Ismail had previously spoken out against the sackings and suspensions of several Umno leaders as well as the approval of the no-contest motion for the top two party posts at the recent general assembly.
He was reported to have said that the sackings and suspensions of leaders like Khairy Jamaluddin and Hishammuddin Hussein were not in compliance with the legal process and contradicted the principle of “natural justice”.