Umno supreme council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has admitted to a movement within the party to oust president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
However, he said that the movement failed to gain traction and most leaders have decided to focus on reviving the party instead of internal politicking.
“There’s only a small group (that wants to oust Zahid), but they didn’t get much traction. They had their own agenda, and they weren’t doing this for the party.
“Zahid has already given his mandate (to deputy president Mohamad Hasan), so get back to work.
“Things are well and good now, so there should be more effort in strengthening the party and making preparations for the (next) general election,” he told Malaysiakini.
However, Tajuddin declined to disclose whether the movement to oust Zahid was masterminded by a senior party leader.
Malaysiakini had previously reported that a group of Umno leaders led by a serving vice-president had been working towards ousting Zahid and his allies within the party.
A source had said that the group wants Zahid to relinquish his post completely and hand over power to his deputy Mohamad, who is currently performing the duties of the president.
On Dec 18 last year, Zahid had yielded to calls for him to “take leave” by handing over his duties to Mohamad.
The decision was made to stem an exodus of lawmakers from the party.
“If it is true that I am the main reason (for the defections), then my decision is to entrust Mohamad to perform duties as president,” he said at the time.