Umno’s Khairy Jamaluddin has backed calls for party elections as a way out of the current quagmire where top party leaders have been debating on forging future alliances at the next polls.
In an online post, the former Umno Youth leader said Umno could only contest the next general election under a leadership that has a clear mandate and which enjoys the people’s support.
“Expedite party elections. Do the right thing, Supreme Council. You know we cannot continue like this,” he said in an Instagram post.
Khairy’s call is seen as in line with that of fellow party member in the Cabinet, Annuar Musa, who said holding a party election would be the best way to chart Umno’s course ahead of the 15th general election.
“This is because the leadership must receive the grassroots’ mandate before any election,” he said on a talk show.
“As for now, the president has come up with an idea to go solo in GE15. The best way is for not just the state liaison chairman to decide, but also the members,” Annuar had said as delegates gathered in Kuala Lumpur for the general assembly last weekend.
The general assembly saw party leaders falling in line with their president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s call to cut ties with Bersatu and the Perikatan Nasional bloc.
Zahid and former leader Najib Razak have been at the forefront of attacks against the government despite Umno leaders occupying key ministerial posts.
The last time Umno postponed party polls was in 2018 before the general election that year which saw its fall from federal power.
Polls were then held on June 30, 2018, at which Zahid defeated Khairy and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for the president’s post.
Zahid later took “garden leave” after being slapped with multiple corruption charges, although he returned to the top post after six months.