KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 (Bernama) — Holding the UMNO election before the 15th general election (GE15) can lead to splits in the party and allow other parties to “steal” the losing candidates, said Pekan UMNO chief Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The former UMNO president said many quarters were waiting for an opportunity to weaken UMNO this way.

“… they (other parties) will wait for elections in UMNO, so splinters from the losing side will be invited or persuaded or offered to join their party,” he told reporters after delivering his address at the closing of the Malaysian Democracy Forum: Charting the Future of Parliamentary Democracy in Malaysia here today.

The former prime minister said this when commenting on Rembau Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin’s call for the UMNO leadership to bring forward the party election this year in order to resolve the party’s internal problems.

Khairy, who is Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said the party polls should be held ahead of GE15.

Najib, in his closing keynote address, touched on the need to enact an act of Parliament that regulates political donations and funding, as conducting political activities, just like any other activity, involves cost.

“If you are a business entity, you raise funds via selling equity, debts and through various fundraising activities. But the question is, how does a political party do that, and do that at a scale large enough to cover the cost associated with running it?

“So, if one wants to see our democracy mature into a modern and functioning democracy, we must regulate any and all activities associated with political funding. We can’t shout our belief about transparency and governance unless we also agree to have this mechanism in place,” he said.

Meanwhile, UMNO Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki agreed that UMNO polls be brought forward on condition that party leaders holding positions in the government resign from their posts.

UMNO deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, speaking at the 2020 UMNO general assembly last weekend, said the UMNO election should be held this year but priority should be given to GE15.


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