Has Zahid a secret weapon for party to win GE15 on its own, Umno man wonders

The Umno president wants to contest all seats with 60pct Malay voters, says Zahidi Zainul Abidin.

Umno leader Zahidi Zainul Abidin can’t stop but wonder if party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has a secret weapon up his sleeve for the party to win the next general election and form the government on its own.

“I don’t know what gives him confidence that Umno can win all the seats (we contest) and form the government by itself. Maybe he has a secret weapon. But we cannot belittle the party president. Maybe he has magical powers (too),” Zahidi (above) said.

Zahid, who rallied for Umno to sever ties with Bersatu in the 15th general election (GE15), had told the party grassroots that Umno will contest in all seats where over 60 percent of voters are Malays, Zahidi claimed.

“As a result, these Umno division leaders want to stand in their respective constituencies and it is impossible for us to tell them not to contest in the election.

“As a division chief, I want to be fielded as a candidate myself and I cannot tell others to make way for Bersatu,” he told Malaysiakini.

The deputy communications and multimedia minister said this when commenting on the forthcoming Umno general assembly, which is scheduled to be held on March 27 and 28.

The so-called “cabinet cluster” faction is expected to voice their concerns at the Umno general assembly on the party’s move to cut ties with Bersatu just before GE15.

The cabinet cluster refers to Umno ministers who appear to be in support of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and are opposed to the party’s decision not to cooperate with Bersatu.

UMNO Deputy President Mohamad Hasan

In January, Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan reportedly said that Umno aimed to contest in no less than 96 parliamentary seats out of 222 in GE15.

Zahidi urged his party to negotiate on seat allocations with other parties, including Bersatu and PAS and if possible, to work together ahead of the polls.

“I feel that we should negotiate with Perikatan Nasional and Bersatu until we form the government,” he said.

The Padang Besar MP added that Umno should not work with PKR and DAP, and that this had been decided by the party’s supreme council.

This alludes to the unofficial talks reportedly taking place between Zahid and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim regarding a possible tie-up.

However, Anwar’s allies have rejected cooperation with “kleptocrats” – in reference to Zahid’s faction in Umno mostly made up of leaders facing trial for corruption.

By : KAW GAH CHIE – MALAYSIAKINI

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