LIMA, 21 Nov 2008: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the Wanita Umno elections should not affect unity within the women’s wing.
“Wanita Umno must be professional about it and close ranks as soon as possible after the elections, and this is important,” the deputy Umno president told a news conference here yesterday.
Najib, who is here for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders meeting which begins tomorrow, said the election process must reflect the maturity of democracy in the party.
“We must campaign in a way that ensures a healthy and clean campaign,” he said when asked to comment on Wanita Umno vice-chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s decision to go for the number one post in the movement.
Incumbent Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz issued a statement today to announce her decision to defend her post in the movement’s elections in March next year.
Najib said Wanita Umno, as the backbone of Umno, must continue with its work and duties to ensure that it remained strong.
Meanwhile, Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Shahrizat’s decision should be respected because it was based on the support of the Wanita Umno members and the members should be given a chance to decide who was more qualified to hold the post.
What was important was that there should nothing that could cause friction and disunity, he said after attending the Apec ministers meeting here.
Muhyiddin, who is International Trade and Industry Minister, said elections, including those at the highest level which involved more than one candidate, were a normal process but the candidates must maintain the esprit de corps.
Asked to comment on a report that deputy presidential candidates would be subjected to investigation for corruption, Muhyiddin said it was up the Umno disciplinary board to decide what action to take.
“If the disciplinary board has proof that someone is on the take, it can take action without fear or favour,” he said. — Bernama