KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz is one of the top contenders for the 25 Umno Supreme Council seats tonight in his maiden attempt for the top leadership of the party.
With votes still going in, the international trade and industry minister now has 69 votes — putting him in second place so far.
He was only recently appointed a Kota Raja division committee member amid growing speculation that Umno will field him as its candidate there for the Selangor state election due this year.
He has reportedly been shortlisted as a possible candidate for one of the state constituencies under the greater Kota Raja parliamentary seat: Sungai Kandis or Kota Kemuning.
The fives names with the most votes besides Tengku Zafrul so far are: Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub, Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.
Only two women are leading so far: Datuk Shahaniza Shamsuddin and Datuk Zahida Zarik Khan.
Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin are set to be named Umno vice-presidents, with the latter defending his post.
Titiwangsa MP Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani is set to be the third name in the vice-presidency.
A total of 189 divisions, which included 164,000 members, took part in voting in the past two months.
Previously, Merlimau assemblyman Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh won the Umno Youth chief post, defeating three other candidates.
Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad managed to defend her post as Wanita chief against the previously retired Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
Datuk Nurul Amal Mohd Fauzi, formerly the Puteri deputy chief, is now leading the wing.