No need for Zahid to resign, says Puad

PUAD Zarkashi has defended Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi against calls for him to step down following the party’s dismal performance in the state elections on Saturday.

The Umno Supreme Council member said demanding Zahid relinquish the top post is “not the solution”.

“Don’t point fingers, (the outcome of the polls) is a burden for all of us to bear together. We are all responsible,” he said in a Facebook post today.

Puad said Umno must win back the support of the Malays, and Umno’s ministers must be serious in fighting for the Malay agenda as well as that of other races.

“The power is in their hands,” he said.

“This is why Umno must remain in the unity government. Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) must strengthen their cooperation. Zahid is most suitable for this mission. He doesn’t need to resign, don’t overreact.”

Earlier, FMT quoted a PKR leader as saying that Umno should change its president if the party hopes to remain relevant and avoid letting Perikatan Nasional (PN) take its place in national politics.

The PKR insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, admitted, however, that the unity government would be thrust into a difficult situation if Zahid were to step down.

Zahid is one of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s two deputies.

“How sure can we be that the new president will be aligned with the aspirations of Anwar Ibrahim?” the source said.

A DAP member also said Zahid should step down to win over disenchanted Umno supporters. He said Umno is no longer known for promoting Malay rights and is instead seen merely “as a party protecting its president”.

Yesterday, former Terengganu menteri besar Idris Jusoh also called for Zahid’s resignation after the party was wiped out in the polls in the state.

“Umno lost badly in the state polls. Umno was 100% wiped out in Terengganu. Zahid should resign,” Idris said in a Facebook post.

Umno contested 107 seats for the unity coalition but won just 19, a win rate of 17.7%.