JOHOR BARU, 14 Sept 2008: Several Johor Umno leaders feel that Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s suggestion for the plan for transition of power to be determined by party members would consolidate the practice of democracy in the party.
Tebrau Umno Division head Datuk Maulizan Bujang said that though the plan for transition of power had been decided by the party’s supreme council, the agreement of the grassroots was also important so that the elected Umno leaders have the support of all party members.
"It is up to them (the grassroots) to determine the party leaders," Maulizan, who is a state executive councillor, told Bernama.
The Umno Supreme Council had agreed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hand over power to Najib in June 2010.
Maulizan also said that the situation in the party should not be confused further following the call by Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for Abdullah to expedite the period of the transition of power.
Several Umno leaders, including Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Mohamad Hassan, had asked Muhyiddin to resign for having made the statement.
"We (Umno leaders) should not confuse the situation further. Although Muhyiddin’s opinion differs, it does not undermine the party because he is still championing Umno’s cause," he said.
Gelang Patah Umno Division head Datuk Abdul Aziz Sapian described Najib’s proposal as "excellent" because it was in accordance with the practice of democracy upheld by Umno.
"As divisional leaders, we welcome the proposal by the deputy president. Let the Umno members determine the transition of power," he said.
Head of the Kampung Baru Umno Branch in the Pulai Division, Datuk Syed Hussein Alhabshee, said Najib’s proposal was a way of giving recognition to the grassroots, such as branch heads, to determine the party leadership. – Bernama