The Top 3 UMNO Leaders Who Are Eyeing The President Post

Seven names have been submitted for the position of UMNO president.

  • A total of seven United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) leaders are in the race for the party's top post

    • The party's Supreme Council decided last month that all party posts, including the president and the deputy president posts, will be open for any member to contest in.

      New Straits Times (NST) reported party executive secretary Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh as saying that seven presidential hopefuls submitted their nomination papers, the most in the party's history.

      All eyes are on the party’s presidential contest as the winner is likely to occupy the Opposition leader seat in Parliament where UMNO has 54 seats, which is the most among the opposition ranks.

  • The following is the list of candidates who are in the running for the UMNO President post:

    • 1. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi - Bagan Datuk
      2. Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar - Rembau
      3. Mohd Iqbal Maricair - Bandar Tun Razak
      4. Mohd Yusof Musa @ Jamaludin - Iskandar Puteri
      5. Rahmat Azim Abdul Aziz - Kota Raja
      6. Rosile Saat - Bangi
      7. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah - Gua Musang

      The names of the presidential candidates were announced yesterday, 17 June. However, the finalised list will only be ready on Wednesday, 20 June, according to the party's chief secretary of division Datuk Norazuwan Aziz.

      It has been said that it will be a tight race between Zahid, Tengku Razaleigh, and Khairy, who have been labelled as the most established candidates among the seven names.
  • Here's a closer look at the three candidates:

  • 1. Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

    • Following Barisan Nasional's historic loss in the 14th General Election (GE14), the UMNO deputy president has been discharging the duties of the president after Datuk Seri Najib Razak resigned from the post.

      In GE14, the former Deputy Prime Minister successfully defended the Bagan Datuk parliamentary seat for the sixth term with a 5,073 vote majority, obtaining a total of 18,909 votes.

    • Zahid made headlines earlier this month when he met with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to seek for the latter's advice on how to manage UMNO

    • The 65-year-old recently said that UMNO was more open and democratic now since the party allows its members to contest any position in the party while he stressed on the importance of maintaining unity within the party.

      "I am open to accepting whomever that wins in order to form a strong UMNO leadership.

      "We must use this contest with the intention to prepare UMNO for the political battle out there and not to create animosity among ourselves," he said in a statement, as reported by Malaysiakini.

  • 2. Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

    • Tengku Razaleigh, popularly known as Ku Li, first joined UMNO in 1962.

      The veteran politician is Malaysia's longest-serving MP after he won the Gua Musang parliamentary seat in GE14. He has held on to the seat for 44 years, having first won it in 1974.

      After more than 30 years, the 81-year-old Gua Musang UMNO Division chief is running for UMNO presidency for the second time.

    • Tengku Razaleigh was a key figure in the 1987 party election when he contested for the top post for the first time. He went against Mahathir, who was the then-incumbent. 

      This 1987 UMNO polls is infamous for being the historic event that led to the de-registration of UMNO and the 1988 constitutional crisis.

      Following the 1987 UMNO crisis, after the party was de-registered, Tengku Razaleigh founded Parti Melayu Semangat 46 (S46) in 1989 while Mahathir formed UMNO Baru. However, Tengku Razaleigh eventually returned to UMNO after he disbanded S46 in 1996.

    • According to Tengku Razaleigh, he made the decision to contest for the president post to bring change to UMNO.

      "I made the decision in the interest of UMNO as a national political party that should uphold racial unity and maintain harmony as the core principles of the nation.

      "I want to ensure that UMNO can be an effective Opposition. At the same time, I will ensure the interests of the party grassroots are protected," the Kelantan prince was quoted as saying by The Star Online.

  • 3. Khairy Jamaluddin

    • Khairy, fondly known as 'KJ', has gone past his days as just being the "son-in-law of former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi" as he builds his own legacy as a politician.  

      In GE14, Khairy defended the Rembau parliamentary seat with a smaller 4,364-vote majority compared to the previous election where he secured a 18,357-vote majority.

      The UMNO Youth chief, who was educated abroad and has an Oxford University degree in politics, initially said he was only going for the vice-president post but changed his mind at the last minute.

      Should Khairy win the party polls, he will be the party's youngest ever president at 42 years old. 

    • Khairy has promised to bring reforms to UMNO ahead of the party polls, as he declared his visions for UMNO.

      "A party that opens itself to all levels of society and not only to those at the top, nobility, corporate leaders, and elites.

      "A party for ordinary people. A party that cares for the interest of the ordinary folks. A party that is not racist, sexist, timid, and no longer deaf to the wishes of the people.

      "A party that is magnanimous to other races and maybe one day, BN can be rebuilt as a big house for all," he wrote in a Facebook post announcing his candidacy on Sunday, 17 June. 

  • The UMNO polls, which were supposed to be held in 2016, has been scheduled to take place on 30 June

  • The Barisan Nasional coalition, which was the ruling government for more than 60 years, is only left with four component parties including UMNO after GE14:

  • Read about how our Southeast Asian neighbours fared after they went through democratic transitions:

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