Ahmad Zahid Steps Aside To Let His Deputy Become UMNO's Acting President

However, he has not announced his resignation.

Cover image via Malaysiakini

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi handed over his duties as UMNO president to his deputy last night, 18 December

Image via Malay Mail

New Straits Times reported that Zahid's move was an attempt to prevent more UMNO members from leaving the party following a mass exodus.

"I hope all polemic regarding the leadership will end, and I want grassroot leaders to focus on strengthening the party," Zahid said in a statement tonight.

"I hope there will be no more move to quit the party by MPs and state assemblymen," he added.

Zahid appointed his deputy, Datuk Mohamad Hassan as acting president while insisting that he has not relinquished his post

The Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament (MP) reiterated that he has not resigned from his post as UMNO president.

Zahid added that Mohamad Hassan, better known as Tok Mat will have full powers as UMNO president for a certain period of time.

"Well (he will lead the party) until Tok Mat feels he doesn't want the responsibility anymore or he believes I can continue the job," Zahid said, according to Malay Mail.

"For the time being, I am still the president without any duties," he added.

Meanwhile, Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin lauded Zahid's move in a tweet

Prior to the Bagan Datuk MP's decision, Khairy had been accusing Zahid of failing to lead UMNO. 

On Saturday, 15 December, Khairy demanded the UMNO president to step down after urging the party to hold fresh elections.

You can read Zahid's statement in full here:

Catch up on UMNO's mass exodus here:

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