After taking Umno’s reins, Tok Mat certain no more turncoats for now

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan chair an Umno Supreme Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur December 21, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan chair an Umno Supreme Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur December 21, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Acting Umno president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said today he is confident that the exodus of party members has ceased, following Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s handover of the post.

Following the party’s supreme council meeting here, the Rantau assemblyman, also known as Tok Mat, said efforts are being made to discuss the matter with MPs that are still loyal.

“With recent developments, I am confident we will not be seeing a second or even third exodus,” he said during a press conference at the party headquarters in Menara Dato Onn.

Mohamad said recent meetings with other Umno grassroots members indicated that they are largely satisfied with Zahid’s decision earlier this week.

The council also discussed the party’s future direction, including new strategies to win the 15th general election, which is due in five years.

“One method we are contemplating is restructuring Umno’s operations, given that the party is too large (to be managed).

“We decided to analyse how best to do the restructuring, which will be done by a committee of Umno vice-presidents,” he said.

Mohamad said this will likely result in decentralising power to the respective liaison committees in the states.

“They will be able to communicate what they have faced on the ground to the party headquarters, instead of us having to instruct them on what to do or how to proceed.

“That way issues can be handled on a case-by-case basis, which is more practical since each state is different,” he said.

Mohamad explained that it will also increase members’ sense of belonging if they can plan strategies on their own and then present them to the central leadership for feedback and discussion.

“Similarly, despite the recent mass exodus by its members, the council has decided to grant Umno Sabah complete autonomy in decision-making.

“Whatever setbacks they have faced, we are certain this will only make the remaining members stronger, allowing them to reorganise and rise again later on,” he said.

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