SELANGOR Umno has submitted to the party leadership three names to replace the chapter’s liaison committee chairman Ismail Sabri Yaakob, said sources.
The three names proposed are state Umno deputy chairman Mat Nadzari Ahmad Dahmad, and division chiefs Johan Abdul Aziz (Hulu Langat) and Megat Zulkarnain Omardin (Gombak).
The sources told The Malaysian Insight that the trio were shortlisted at a special meeting involving all state division heads in Kg Baru, Kuala Lumpur, last Saturday.
“The party headquarters are expected to make an announcement after Hari Raya Aidilfitri,” said a source, who attended the meeting.
Leading up to GE14, Selangor Umno was led by Tanjung Karang chief Noh Omar. The chapter’s leaders now feel it is time to draw in new blood to wrest the state from Pakatan Harapan in the next general election.
Selangor Umno now has 11 new division chiefs of the state’s 22 divisions.
Of the three names given to the party leadership, Megat Zulkarnain is considered the “freshest”, having been Gombak division chief only since last year.
The other two are experienced, and were even touted as the potential menteri besar in the event Barisan Nasional won the state in GE14.
Mat Nadzari, 58, was a one-term Batang Kali assemblyman (2013-2018), while Johan, 53, is former Semenyih rep. Both lost on May 9 last year.
Megat Zulkarnain, too, was defeated in the contest for the Gombak Setia state seat.
At the special meeting, Selangor Umno leaders rejected calls for former menteri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo to head the chapter.
The source who attended the meeting said this was because Khir is not currently a division chief.
“The fear is that he does not have enough support in the state. If we can’t get members to attend our programmes (under his leadership), it will be a problem.”
Khir’s criminal record – he was jailed for 12 months for corruption in 2011 – was also cited as a reason for his unsuitability.
The source added that Selangor Umno is looking for someone who is able to bring in funds for the party.
“Financial matters are very important because our party account is still frozen. The person must be able to look for stable sources of income and funding to run the party.”
The state Umno’s account was frozen by the authorities following investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.
Two other chapters that had faced issues naming chiefs – Perlis and Terengganu – have already made the appointments.
Former menteri besar Ahmad Said made a comeback by becoming Terengganu Umno chief in January, replacing Mahdzir Khalid. His appointment was agreed to by all of the chapter’s eight division heads.
Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin resigned as the Perlis chapter’s chairman a few months ago, and the post has been taken over by Padang Besar division chief Zahidi Zainul Abidin.
Zahidi’s appointment was sanctioned by Umno acting president Mohamad Hasan
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT