Former Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin today hit out at calls for the top posts in Umno to go unchallenged at the party elections widely expected to be held by the end of the year, a day after the start of Umno's first general assembly since its defeat at the 15th general election.
Slamming the proposal by over 100 division leaders for the posts of president and deputy president to go uncontested, he called for a "stop to the madness".
"Stop this madness," he said in a post on Instagram.
"I believe the president is a fighter who will not back down from a challenge. Open a space for contest.
"Don't cause the death of democracy in Umno."
A total of 140 Umno division chiefs said yesterday that the president's post, currently held by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, should go unchallenged.
Representing the group, Wangsa Maju Umno division chief Mohd Shafie Abdullah said the division heads also agreed that the deputy president’s post should not be contested.
He said Umno's focus should be on strengthening the party to face the six state elections expected to be held this year.
"A total of 126 Umno division chiefs were present tonight, although another 14 were absent as they were attending the 2022 Umno general assembly.
"All have agreed that the positions (president and deputy president) should not be contested," he said.
Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan meanwhile said that given Umno's current state of affairs, it was more appropriate for the positions to go unchallenged.
"It is best that the party president post and other positions are not contested because if we do go ahead, it may to some extent cause a rift within the party," he told reporters after the simultaneous opening of the general assemblies for the party’s Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings in Kuala Lumpur last night.
However, he added that he would defend his position if challenged at the party elections.
Khairy himself stood against Zahid in the race for the Umno presidency in 2018.
He lost to Zahid with 61 out of 191 divisional votes, but beat veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who came in last.