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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 20): Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, yesterday
announced that they will be defending their respective posts at the Umno
election next month.
Najib made the announcement at
the press conference after opening the Middle Temple Conference 2013 here
Muhyiddin, on the other hand,
made his announcement at his residence in Putrajaya, hence silenced all
speculations about him going for the number one post in Umno.
Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
Law, Government and International Studies lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Ahmad Martadha
Mohamed told Bernama that he felt the two announcements would definitely be
lauded by Umno members as they reflected the strong unity among the two top
leaders in the party.
He said the announcements were
also described as a huge relief as Umno could not afford to be left
factionalised due to contest for posts, just like what happened in 1987 when
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Ahmad Martadha also emphasised
that the Najib-Muhyiddin team was very much needed to ensure stability and
peace in the country towards achieving the status of a high-income nation by
"Right now, Umno has very
credible leaders and it is vital for the party in its bid to make various transformation
for its survival to face the 14th general election," he said.
Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, from the
School of Social Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), said the
announcement by the party's top leaders was a "signal" for the
members to preserve harmony in the party.
He said Najib's declared
intention to defend his party president post was timely as his capability and
leadership were needed to steer the party and nation to greater heights.
Dr Ahmad Tarmizi Talib, from the
Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), said Muhyiddin's
action of declaring his full support for Najib in defending his party
presidency showed the compatability of the two leaders.
"Based on the concept of
democracy, the post can be contested although some of the members are opposed
to a contest for the two top posts.
"Muhyiddin's decision to
contest the No. 2 post shows adherence to Eastern values (of respecting the
leader) and this is a welcomed added value for the party," he said. –