KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Umno party elections, which are slated for June, could be postponed, Mingguan Malaysia reported today.
An unnamed party insider told the Malay daily that this was due to concerns over the rise in Covid-19 case numbers in the country.
“Umno is well aware of the worrying Covid-19 situation; however, the issue of party elections should be hashed out in the meeting. But the decision will not necessarily be made tomorrow.
“We do not need to rush it. We have to take into account the rights of all members to vote in the elections. But the increase in Covid-19 cases has raised the question of how the elections will be executed,” said the source to the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia.
The source was also referring to Umno’s supreme council meeting that is due to take place today.
It has been widely reported that on the agenda are discussions on how the party should move forward after deciding to cut ties with Bersatu and Perikatan Nasional (PN) for the coming general elections.
The source also pointed out that while the suspension of Parliament involves 222 MPs, party elections encompass thousands of members.
It is also understood that Umno party elections are meant to be carried out at the branch level in June 2021, followed by the division level, which is expected to see the participation of at least 150,000 members.
There is also speculation that party elections will only be carried out after the next general election (GE15).
“There is no expectation when Umno party elections will be held because the democratic system in the country has also been suspended, while also taking into account when GE15 will happen.
“At this time, it is important for Umno to have a stance on the state of Emergency. As a party, Umno does not agree with the implementation of the Emergency. In fact, we were never consulted by those in the government. If we were to think about it, the Emergency gave absolute power to the government, while making the process of checks and balances more difficult,” said the source.
Meanwhile, Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman was quoted as saying by Mingguan Malaysia that today’s meeting, which is due to take place at 3:30pm, will discuss the resolution that was reached by the party during its annual general assembly at the end of March.
“We are open and ready to weigh all views and suggestions before reaching a decision. But the obvious agenda is the mandate that was decided during the recent assembly, including the support for PN.
“I do not reject the possibility that the issue of party elections will arise. The decision made by the MT (supreme council) will of course take into account the views of the grassroots,” he said.
As for Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, he told Mingguan Malaysia that he has no idea what’s on the agenda today.
“We have about two hours scheduled for the meeting, from 4pm, because prior to that, we have to record a takbir raya at 3:30pm.
“This is a regular monthly meeting and we will break fast together after our discussion,” he said.