The much anticipated decision has been made. Kedah Menteri Besar and UMNO Liaison Chief Dato’ Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir just announced his candidacy for Vice President post in the upcoming party election which is exactly a month from today.
He is expected to file his nomination papers in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
The ground swell for Mukhriz to step into the ring and contest for the five top most position in the nationalist party is far too great for him to ignore. On a special meeting Tuesday night at Seri Mentaloon, he received overwhelming endorsement and support by all but one UMNO Division Heads in Kedah.
In an interview with NST which appeared on Monday, he said that he “Wanted to chart a new course” as part of the ‘Succession Plan’. The theme is very clear; changing mindset, propelling transformation and play the catch up game. He is tweaking the game without changing the rules, to achieve better level of achievements.
Yesterday, he called on Deputy Prime Minister and UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd, Yassin in Perdana Putra. Later, he called on Prime Minister and UMNO President Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak. Both leaders respected his decision and would not deny his right to contest.
In short, its an endorsement for him to test his leadership acceptance by the larger UMNO delegates.
In his fiery speech, he explained at length that UMNO has been struggling for the interest of the rakyat, especially the Malays. “In the more recent times, the challenges are more intense which include attacks against the position and sanctity of Islam as the religion of the Federation.”
UMNO, said Mukhriz, must remain relevant and be rejunevated to ensure all the challenges are resolved.
Mukhriz contested UMNO Youth Exco in August 2004 and was elected with the highest votes. on 6 September 2008, he launched his ‘Berani Berubah’ campaign for UMNO Youth Chief. Even though he got the highest divisional nominations, he failed to win the UMNO Youth Chief post when the delegates voted on 26 March 2009.
After the 2009 UMNO party election, Sixth Prime Minister Najib formed his Cabinet on 6 April 2009. Mukhriz was appointed Deputy Minister of MITI.
This candidacy bring new hopes for the bigger demomination of UMNO members; the younger generation. This should be seen as the party rejuvenating itself, which is part of the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s ‘Transformation Plan’ for UMNO, as per his acceptance speech at the UMNO General Assembly closing ceremony on 28 March 2009.
In this defining moment in Seri Mentaloon, Mukhriz also affirmed his and UMNO Kedah’s loyalty to Prime Minister Najib as UMNO President and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin as Deputy President. Amongst those who attended are Cabinet Ministers, Perlis UMNO Liaisons Chief Dato’ Seri Shahidan Kassim and Merbuk UMNO Chief Mej. Jen. (Rtd) Dato’ Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
The strong support shown so far, especially by many of the younger UMNO members and eligible delegates is a demonstration that they aspiration is for UMNO to have a ‘Succession Plan’.
The war cry for this campaign is
The Hashtag for social media sites Twitter and Facebook is