KUANTAN, June 21 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is free to officiate or attend any events while on garden leave, said acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
He said Zahid could still attend in his capacity as Umno division chief or as the MP of Bagan Datoh, Perak.
“He is still the MP and division chief of Bagan Datoh, and there has never been any question of him being on leave,” Hasan told reports following the officiation of PAS’ Muktamar (annual congress) at the Indoor Stadium of the Pahang Sports Complex.
He was referring to reports that Zahid would be attending several functions in Kepong tomorrow, despite being on garden leave.
Hasan insisted that Zahid is still the rightful president of Umno, who was elected by party members in last year’s internal elections.
“Again, there has never been any question if Datuk Seri Zahid can go (for events) or not. Remember that I am only acting in his stead while he is on leave.
“In fact, I think it is better that he attends events, since he is still the president after all,” he said.
Adding that there is nothing to stop Zahid from using his title as Umno president when attending events, Hasan said Zahid also has the final say on how long he will serve as acting president.
“If tomorrow he calls and says I want to come back to the office, he can. I have never occupied his office, and still retain the usage of my own,” he said.
Hasan avoided questions of what he would do if Umno members decide to elect him as the president proper, saying that the matter will only be discussed when need be.