Isa joins Umno VP race

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PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Isa Samad has thrown his hat into the ring for the Umno vice-president's post at the upcoming party polls later this year.

In confirming rumours following a report by a news portal, the Felda chairman hopes — should he be elected — that he can contribute to the stability of the party and help the leadership prepare for the 14th general election, with his vast experience.

"Past experiences are very important. I have enough experience. Quite colourful too. Many things have happened to me," Isa told reporters after launching Felda's non-food products.

Though the Jempol MP did not elaborate the experiences, he related his three-year suspension in 2005 on seven corruption charges for money politics in the party's 2004 elections, calling it a "very hilarious" incident.

When asked if he should make way for the younger generation to fill the post, Isa said experienced people are just as important.

A combination of the two groups is a "must have", a practice Umno has adopted for over 50 years, according to Isa. "Cannot leave the party to all the youngsters."

When asked why he chose to contest the post now rather than when he was in his prime, Isa retorted that he is in his heyday.

Umno's three vice-presidents — Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal — said they would defend their posts.

Speculation is rife, however, that former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman are expected to join the fray.

Over 150,000 Umno delegates from 191 divisions nationwide will vote for the party's leadership this time.

The Umno supreme council elections will be held on Oct 19.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 21, 2013.