THREE former Umno leaders are vying to become division chiefs in their new party, Bersatu, this weekend.
The three are Masjid Tanah MP Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Hulu Terengganu MP Rosol Wahid and Sabak Bernam MP Mohamad Fasiah Mohd Fakeh.
The “star” among the three is former Puteri Umno chief Mas Ermieyati, who will be challenging Malacca Bersatu chief and minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof in a three-cornered fight for the Masjid Tanah division.
Redzuan is Alor Gajah MP and entrepreneur development minister.
The third candidate in the race is the Masjid Tanah division secretary A. Lukman Ab Ghani.
Mas Ermieyati left Umno on July 1, 2018, saying the party was not keen to clean up after its disastrous outing in GE14. She then joined Bersatu five months later, being among the earliest Umno leaders to defect to the new party.
Rosol will also be facing a three-cornered fight for the Hulu Terengganu division. His main challengers are Zamani Mamat and Mohd Laisani Dollah.
The incumbent division chief, Mohd Nuhairi Muhammad, has decided not to contest for the top slot and will be vying to be the deputy division chief.
Rosol left Umno in December 2018 along with five other Umno MPs, which included Abdul Latiff Ahmad (Mersing), Shabudin Yahaya (Tasik Gelugor), Hamzah Zainudin (Larut), Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah), and Mohamad Fasiah.
Over at the Sabak Bernam division, Fasiah will face village head Ibrahim Saadan.
The other former Umno leaders in Bersatu, including Jeli MP Mustapa Mohamed and Bagan Serai MP Noor Azmi Ghazali, are sitting out from the party polls this time around.
When Mas Ermieyati first joined Bersatu, she had said she was not joining the party for positions, adding that party chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said defected leaders will not be given any positions until after the next general election.
However, the party had agreed last year that the ex-Umno leaders can contest in party polls as long as they are not facing any criminal charges.
A total of 363,173 party members are qualified to attend branch meetings and elect leaders at 2,950 branches in 189 divisions nationwide this year.
So far, 538 branches in 37 divisions have held their meetings.
Aspiring leaders need to win at division levels before contesting at the national level.
The nomination for all positions at the national level is on March 16, with voting on June 20.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT