Umno polls on Oct 5, says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR - Umno's election for its top office bearers will be held on Oct 5, ahead of the party's annual general assembly that will take place from Dec 2 to 7.

Party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the election for supreme council positions would be held concurrently with polls at the party's 191 divisions.

Announcing the dates after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting at its headquarters here yesterday, Najib said the party's Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings would hold their internal polls on Sept 28.

Those wishing to contest as candidates for all party positions - from division to supreme council levels - should register at their respective state Umno headquarters on Sept 7, said Najib.

Commenting on the new election rules, which would come into effect at the coming party polls, Najib said the aim was to choose party leaders whom the rakyat would want.

"We hope that Umno will continue to be accepted by the rakyat and that means we must promote leaders whom they can accept," he said.

Umno was scheduled to have its election by March last year but postponed it by 18 months as the party was preparing for the general election then.

The last party election was in 2009.

Prior to the amendment in 2009, only about 2,500 delegates had the right to vote for office bearers with strict conditions imposed on aspiring candidates before they could qualify.

Now, besides the 150,000 members who will be voting for the supreme council aspirants, 100,000 members from each of the party's three wings - Youth, Wanita and Puteri - will be eligible to vote for their respective movement leaders.

Najib also announced changes in the Umno liaision committee leadership for six states.

Among the key appointments are Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who has been named Perlis Umno chief, replacing Datuk Md Isa Sabu, and current Mentri Besar Azlan Man who will serve as his deputy.

Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is now the state Umno chief, taking over from Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah who will be his deputy.

Datuk Seri Noh Omar is the new Selangor Umno chief, taking over from Najib, while Datuk Abdul Shukor Idrus will be his deputy.

On another matter, when asked about the Government's position on preventive laws, Najib said he would address this later.

"We are in the process of dealing with serious crimes in an effective way yet prevent any potential abuse of human rights," he said. "So, we are looking at all angles."