In a meeting in Seri Mentaloon, Alor Setar last night Kedah Menteri Besar and UMNO Liaison Chief Dato’ Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir last night received overwhelming support from all UMNO Division Heads in Kedah, to go for the Vice President post.
Published: Wednesday September 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday September 18, 2013 MYT 2:15:01 PM
Kedah MB gets the green light from state division leaders
BY SIRA HABIBU
PETALING JAYA: Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir (pic) has received unanimous support from state Umno division leaders to contest the vice-president post.
The decision was made during a meeting with divison leaders last night.
If Mukhriz decides to join in the fray, he will be the game changer in a tight six-cornered fight among heavyweights for the three vice-president seats.
“Insya Allah (God Willing), I will make an announcement on Thursday,” said Mukhriz.
So far Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad and former Malacca chief minister Datuk Seri Ali Rustam have announced their intention to take on incumbents Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
Mukhriz is son of fourth prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, while Hishammuddin is the son of third prime minister Tun Hussein Onn.
Political pundits and netizens were all abuzz yesterday when news that Mukhriz had called Kedah Umno leaders for a meeting last night broke.
Mukhriz is said to have met the leaders including those from Umno wings at his official residence in Alor Setar.
According to a source, he called for the meeting to gauge their feedback before making a final decision.
Langkawi Umno division chief Datuk Nawawi Ahmad said should Mukhriz contest the vice-president post and win, he could help rejuvenate Umno.
“The younger generation in Umno views Mukhriz as an icon.
“Barisan Nasional was able to wrest control of Kedah from PAS because of substantial support from young voters.
“We need to get younger leaders like Mukhriz to play a greater role in the party as we need to prepare for the next general election where the younger generation makes up more than 40% of the voters,” he said.
Sungai Petani Umno division chief Datuk Ali Yahaya said Mukhriz was a rational person who was not likely to let external pressure influence his decision.
“Whichever position he will vie for, we will support him, and people in the northern corridor want to see him soar high,” he said.
Later this afternoon, sources from Perdana Putra said that Mukhriz would call on Deputy Prime Minister and UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin. Later in the evening, same sources said that he would also meet Prime Minister and UMNO President Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak.
These meetings are in line on what Home Minister and UMNO Vice President Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s advice to Mukhriz a few days ago. In short, Mukhriz has sought the ‘endorsement’ from top leadership to offer himself.
If this endorsement is obtained, then it could be viewed as an endorsement for UMNO to have a leadership succession plan. This a high level extension to the UMNO democratization, promised by Prime Minister Najib in his acceptance speech as 7th UMNO President on 28 March 2009.
In all anticipation, Mukhriz is expected to make his announcement for his candidacy of the UMNO Vice President post at Seri Mentaloon, Alor Setar at 400pm tomorrow.