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JOHOR BARU, June 8 — Acting Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein confirmed today that he will not contest for any national posts in the party’s coming internal election.
The decision will also mark an end to his family’s decades-long run as a perennial part of Umno’s leadership.
“However, I will be working very hard in assisting to develop and restore Umno again starting from Johor,” he said in an announcement held at the Johor Umno state liaison headquarters in Jalan Yahya Awal here today.
Hishammudin is the son of a former Umno president and the country’s third prime minister, the late Tun Hussein Onn, who was also the son of Umno’s first president and founder Datuk Onn Jaafar.
However, Hishammuddin is now better known as the cousin of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, whose father Tun Abdul Razak was also the country’s second prime minister.
Present at the announcement was Johor Umno liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and deputy chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad.
Hishammuddin had earlier this morning attended a closed-door meeting with the Johor Umno liaison committee and also several of the party’s division chiefs.
The 56-year-old Sembrong MP also said he will work to restore Johor Umno and has given his commitment to the state party’s chief Mohamed Khaled on the matter.
“I pledge to be loyal to Umno till the end and will give my undivided support to the party’s new leadership which have yet to be selected by Umno members come June 30,” said Hishammuddin, adding that he has also conveyed on how best he can assist Umno to the party’s acting president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and also Mohamed Khaled.
Earlier, Hishammuddin said he was aware and realised that the results of the recent 14th general election (GE14) did not side with Barisan Nasional (BN).
The former minister in the previous BN-led government said he accepted the public’s decision.
Hishammuddin said that together with the GE14 results, Umno will now face its coming internal election where the time is right for the party to make changes through leadership.
“I find that many party members have offered themselves to contest (various posts) in an effort to bring Umno forward and I believe they should be given a chance for leadership roles within the party,” he said.
Hishammuddin said the party’s struggle this time is not about an individual and posts, but team work and contribution.
“Let us take the GE14 as a signal for us to build Umno to be closer to the people’s heart,” he said.
Earlier, Hishammuddin had been tipped to enter a formal bid to be the party’s No. 2 leader.
It was understood that he has the support of the Johor Umno grassroots to vie for Umno’s deputy president’s post.