KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 - Days after the power transition deal was torn up, the Umno divisions in Cheras and Titiwangsa have decided to nominate Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for the top two posts in the March party elections.
Umno Cheras division chief Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshee and Umno Titiwangsa chief Datuk Suleiman Mohamad announced their decision at a breaking fast function in Cheras last night, the Agendadaily.com website reported today.
Among those at the function were Muhyiddin, Heritage Minister and Umno supreme council member Datuk Shafie Apdal, Umno Batu chief Datuk Yusof Hamid and several other KL leaders.
Umno Cheras is due to convene its meeting on Oct 12 while Umno Titiwangsa will meet six days later on Oct 18, party officials said.
"With the supreme council's decision to defer the polls, it goes without saying that the transition of power will happen. Our decision is in line with the supreme council's decision although Pak Lah has yet to announce his decision conclusively," Syed Ali was quoted as saying.
Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the postment last Friday, but said he would only disclose his decision whether to contest or not by Oct 9, when the divisional meetings begin.
"We think we don't have to wait for his announcement as the scenario is quite clear," Syed Ali added.
Syed Ali also dismissed the possibility that Abdullah could decide to defend his presidency. "How can that be... the situation will be complex and chaotic in Umno then," he said, adding the Prime Minister would not defend his post as the polls would otherwise not have been postponed.
Suleiman said Umno Titiwangsa had decided on the Najib-Muhyiddin team at a recent divisional meeting, adding he hoped the new leadership would strengthen the Ketuanan Melayu ideal.
The first Umno division to meet is Besut on Oct 11 while. Apart from Cheras, the others meeting on Oct 12 are Machang, Pontian, Pagoh, Batu Pahat, Kuantan, Shah Alam, Subang and Buki Gelugor and their nominations are eagerly awaited by all as an indication of the party's new leadership.
Only Gua Musang division chief Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has openly said he will contest the party presidency if he gets the required number of nominations. The Kelantan prince, who was Umno vice president and narrowly lost to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the presidency in the 1987 party polls that led to its deregistration, has criticised the transition deal and postponement of the elections.
Muhyiddin defended the supreme council's decision to defer the general assembly and polls, saying it was their right to do so under the party constitution.He said all quarters have to put the postponement in the context of solving the problems of leadership change which led to the consensus of deferring the polls and general assembly.