KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pix) wants Umno to get behind beleaguered party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi following the latter’s return to the top post.
The former Umno vice-president said he hoped the latest development concerning Ahmad Zahid would not lead to fractures within the party.
He said it was pertinent for Umno to remain solid and united now, especially with the party in a stronger position now than it was a year ago following its shocking defeat in the general election.
“Under our party’s constitution, Ahmad Zahid has the right to return to helm Umno. His decision has been made, and now it is important for the party to be united.
“Don’t just because of his return, it opens up a space for others in the party to squabble among each other. I hope this matter will not affect what Umno has built for over a year, just because he decided to return,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby, here, today.
Asked if he believed Ahmad Zahid’s return would receive the backing of party leaders, Hishammuddin said that was up to the respective supreme council members.
Ahmad Zahid had on Sunday, during his speech at a Hari Raya function in Perak, announced that he would return from his garden leave to take charge of Umno, after over six months in hiatus.
His decision came a year after he was elected as party president, amidst dozens of corruption and abuse of power charges made against him.
“I can no longer stand seeing the people being lied to and insulted. So beginning today, I am officially resuming my duties as Umno president,” he had said.
The former Deputy Prime Minister went on garden leave on Dec 18 last year, with his deputy, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, assuming the position of acting president, and Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the parliamentary opposition leader.
Whether Ahmad Zahid would resume his position as the opposition leader, Hishammuddin said that was up for the party leadership to decide.