PETALING JAYA: Senior Umno leaders have welcomed the return of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to helm the party.
Supreme council member Datuk Ahmad Maslan said Zahid took a six-month garden leave “to protect the party” after he was taken to court on several corruption charges.
“It is only right that he now returns to perform his duty as party president,” he said.
“Umno members must realise that the charges against Zahid are politically motivated because he is the party president,” Ahmad added.
Zahid had announced on Sunday that he would be resuming his position as party president.
Party vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob observed that Zahid “has been very diplomatic in his approach” on his return.
In reference to to Zahid’s decision to allow him to remain as Opposition Leader, Ismail pointed out that Zahid had opted not to resume other positions apart from party chief.
“There is no provision in the party constitution to prevent him from rightfully resume his duties as party president,” Ismail added.
He called on all Umno members to give Zahid their support.
Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz welcomed Zahid’s decision to return. “Now the party can function in a proper manner without any further disruptions,” he said.
He pointed out that all Zahid did was to go on leave and therefore he could return as party leader.