COMMENTARY, Jan 15 — As Umno enters a new chapter after more than 50 years of existence, its members have decided to allow president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and deputy president Datuk Seri Mohd Hasan to continue leading them for the next three years.
However, it will not be a walk in the park for Zahid and Mat Hasan as both faced dissent from certain quarters clamouring for the top posts.
Aspirants for the top two posts are said to be Titiwangsa MP Datuk Johari Ghani, former Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
Accused by party members of being instigated by leaders of parties outside Pakatan Harapan (PH), these aspirants had yet to say why they wanted to take over the reins of the party when the party AGM put a stop to everything with the no-contest resolution.
The road ahead for both Zahid and Mat Hasan is going to be rough as they have to clean up the party before moving on and this may result in a mutiny which will be akin to thorns; they do not kill but it will hurt.
Word is that the party disciplinary committee may act against these dissidents to stop them spreading misinformation to others and the party leadership can work smoothly to revive the fortunes of the party.
With there being no contest for the party’s top two posts, dissidents and whoever aspires to be leaders can contest the party’s three vice-presidents’ posts and 25 supreme council posts.
In fact, all the 191 division heads’ posts as well as deputies and vice-presidents and committee members are open for contesting next month.
This opens the opportunities for young and qualified party members to try their luck to be in the leadership line-up at divisions and branches’ level.
Six state elections will also have to be held latest by July, so the newly elected leaders at division and branch levels may have a chance to be selected to contest.
Umno may not be able to field candidates for all the Malay majority seats in the six states because it has to contend with the presence of other Malay-based parties in PH which is Amanah and Anwar’s own party PKR which is multi-racial but Malay-based.