PETALING JAYA: Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s decision not to defend his post as an Umno vice-president is a sign of protest against the party’s motion not to allow its two top posts to be contested.
“I’m consistent in my principles that I do not agree with the decision to not contest the president and deputy president’s post at the upcoming party elections,” Utusan Malaysia quoted Ismail as saying at an event in Bera, Pahang, today.
“If I contest for the vice-presidency, it would mean that I agree with the decision to not contest the two top posts. So, I have to be consistent in my decisions.”
Ismail also said the Registrar of Societies (RoS) should have postponed the party elections as it had not made a decision on whether there was a breach of the party’s constitution in not allowing the two posts to be contested.
“The RoS should have made a decision before nominations for the Umno polls closed. What happens now if it says there was a breach of the party constitution? This is why (I say) all posts must be contested,” he said.
He said RoS had the power to postpone the elections under the party’s constitution.
On his relationship with party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Ismail said they were still close.
“There is no problem between us. Personally, not only am I close to him, but also to his wife and children. I’ve known him since my school days.
“It’s just that when it comes to politics, we have different views, and he has said that he welcomes it.”
On Saturday, Ismail announced that he would not be defending his vice-presidency, which he has held since 2018.
Incumbents Mahdzir Khalid and Khaled Nordin are seeking re-election, along with Titiwangsa MP Johari Ghani, Pahang menteri besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said, former Johor menteri besar Hasni Mohammad, Supreme Council member Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, and former housing and local government minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
The Umno elections will commence on March 11, with the Wanita, Youth and Puteri leadership posts being up for grabs, while division officials, vice-presidents and members of the Supreme Council will be elected on March 18.