Prime Minister Dato’ Srì Mohd. Najib Tun Razak lauded MB Kedah Dato’ Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir’s attempt to earn a place as UMNO Vice President during nationwide party election yesterday, as “Encouraging performance”.
The Star story:
Published: Sunday October 20, 2013 MYT 9:52:00 PM
Updated: Sunday October 20, 2013 MYT 9:54:16 PM
Umno polls: Encouraging performance from Mukhriz, says Najib
PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir showed encouraging performance in Saturday’s contest for a vice-president post, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“Although he is new and announced rather late his intention to contest the post, he has shown that he has good support in the party,” said the Umno president.
Najib said the stiff contest between Mukhriz and incumbent Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who is also Defence Minister, was expected this time as the contest was open.
“When it was left to the grassroots members to choose, surely some popular leaders would be their choice, hence the stiff contest,” he told a news conference at the Palm Garden Golf Club, here.
He regarded the contest as healthy in Umno, a familial party.
A total of 146,500 delegates from 191 Umno divisions cast their votes under the electoral college system to pick the three vice-presidents.
Each candidate among the top three in terms of the number of votes garnered, received one vote from a division.
The official results for the vice-presidential contest announced early today, showed Hishammuddin getting a stiff fight from Mukhriz when they Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said Mukhriz’s attempt at wresting one of the three Umno vice-president posts showed his mettle as a young leader.
“Mukhriz has garnered convincing support from the grassroots members. He is one of the credible young leaders.
“His achievement in the contest is very noticeable and good as a young leader in his first attempt for the high post in Umno,” she told Bernama.
Puteri Umno chief Mas Ermieyati Samsudin hoped that no one would dispute the election results as the grassroots delegates had made their choice. – Bernama
It is clear that Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is proud which is illustrated him focusing on how UMNO is being transformed into a more democratised party with broader based number of members who are eligible to decide their leaders. And the process is done simultaneous across the country in 191 Parliamentary constituencies.
However, the seventh UMNO President was probably obtuse and missed the most important point that this result demonstrates; UMNO grassroot wanted a change and not status quo.
The fact is that Mukhriz obtained more popular votes than incumbent Vice President Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein.
Considering that the latter has the advantage of being an incumbent, a Cabinet Minister in two Ministries and in the final round of campaigning struck ‘strategic alliances’ with Wanita and Pemuda, barely won the third placing in the race for UMNO Vice Presidency.
In some ways, UMNO failed this phase of the ‘Transformation Plan’.
Prime Minister Najib must be mindful of this very strong message. It is part of the ‘writings on the wall’, as a precursor to 14GE. Failure to this would spell disaster for UMNO and eventually its demise as a mainstream champion for the Malays.
Even Fourth Prime Minister and a strong champion for the ‘Malay Agenda’ Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad strongly send the message that UMNO should listen to the aspiration and soundbites of the Malays and not just amongst themselves.
Mukhriz’s support of 54,315 grassroot votes in over 20,800 UMNO branches translated firmly through 91 divisions should be seen as a ‘Mini Malay Tsunami’.
*Updated Monday 21Oct2013 0700hrs