Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has announced his return from garden leave to resume the mantle of Umno president.
Zahid made the announcement in conjunction with the first anniversary of him being elected as party president and not “appointed by Umno leadership.”
“So the one year anniversary is important to me, hence on June 30, 2019, I wish to announce that I am ending my (garden) leave today,” he said during a Hari Raya event in Perak.
Zahid went on leave in December last year amid pressure for him to step aside.
His opponents from within Umno had criticised him for what they claimed was a lack of direction.
Zahid also presided over an exodus of lawmakers from the party, with threats of further defection if he did not step down.
He finally relented, and on Dec 18 announced that his deputy Mohamad Hasan (left in photo) would take over as the new acting president.
Zahid’s return just six months later threatens to reopen faultlines in the party.
Just hours ago, former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin – a close ally of Mohamad – had said Zahid should first seek the opinion of the Umno supreme council before announcing his return.
“Morally, it should be discussed by the Umno supreme council. Zahid was on leave and the supreme council carried out his duties so it would be unfair if the supreme council is not consulted.
“To say that it is solely Zahid’s decision, I would disagree.
“In the last few months, including the three by-election wins we achieved, they were all done under Tok Mat (Mohamad),” he said after officiating the Sungai Buloh Umno divisional meeting in Shah Alam today.
Yesterday, former Umno president Najib Abdul Razak had said it was up to Zahid to decide whether he should make a comeback.
Both Najib and Zahid are facing graft charges.
Under Mohamad, a proposal was made to expel Umno members convicted of graft and who have exhausted all appeals.
However, the proposal was shot down with strong objection from the likes of Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam, a Najib loyalist. – MKINI
Don’t let me fight Pakatan alone, Najib tells Umno members
FORMER Umno president Najib Razak today urged party members to join him in the fight against Pakatan Harapan and not let him “battle” the ruling government on his own.
He said he is not asking for party members to be involved in street demonstrations, instead oppose government policies on social media.
“We must fight the injustices of this government. Don’t fear as we are on the right path.
“Don’t let me fight alone. Fight with me. I am not asking for street protests.
The Pekan MP added that he lost his cybertroopers after Barisan Nasional’s defeat in the last general election.
“I don’t have any cybertroopers now. I only have ordinary people who defend me and what I say,” he said.
“If the people are with us, then our future is good. What more when we have our green shirt friends with us,” he said, referring to PAS’s pact with Umno.
Najib also said that history had shown that the Malays would only gain success by uniting and mobilising en masse.
“The spark for our fight was lit long ago, with fighters such as Tok Janggut, Mat Kilau, Rosli Dhobi and others.
“From them, we know that they failed because they were not fighting in unity.
“They moved independently and thus were easily defeated.
“However, when the Malays united and rose through Umno, we even defeated the British. We defeated the communists too.” THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
MKINI / THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT