KUALA LUMPUR: The entire Umno election machinery across the country has been ordered to focus on preparing for the eventuality that the 15th General Election may be held soon, says party secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.
“The supreme council urges party machinery at all levels to focus on getting prepared to face GE15, whichever date that will be decided,” said Ahmad when he read out a press statement at the World Trade Centre on Thursday (Aug 4) night.
Ahmad was speaking to reporters after an Umno supreme council meeting chaired by party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that lasted for nearly two hours beginning at 8.30pm.
However, when asked if the dates of GE15 were deliberated during the meeting, Ahmad refused to divulge further details.
“I will only speak about this matter (press statement). The meeting was two hours long. If everything was to be recorded, it could’ve been a book,” said Ahmad briefly.
Pressed further by reporters, Ahmad said the party polls are usually held after a general election, citing the 14th General Election as a precedent.
“Party polls were held after GE14. So, the party polls now will be held after GE15, no later than six months after the national polls.
“We don’t know when GE15 will be held,” said the Pontian MP.
Ahmad also said the supreme council meeting has decided that the Umno general assembly will be held from Nov 23 till 26.
Ahmad added that Umno will discuss with its legal advisers on the necessary amendments needed on its party constitution, following the passing of the anti-party hopping Bill in Parliament.
“Umno might amend its constitution once again. But we want to consult Umno’s legal advisers first,” Ahmad added.
Various Umno supreme council leaders kept mum over the dates of GE15 when approached by members of the media who had staked out at WTC, the party’s headquarters, since 7pm.
Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, when approached, denied that dates of GE15 were discussed.
“No, no, no. It was just a normal meeting. A monthly meeting,” said the outspoken MP briefly before leaving the WTC.
Masjid Tanah Umno division chief Datuk Seri Abd Rauf Jusoh also denied that the dates of GE15 were discussed.
“It was just a routine meeting where we discussed current issues, and appreciated the decision by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to allow Umno to postpone its party polls for six months,” said Abd Rauf.
On July 29, Ahmad said the ROS approved Umno’s application to amend its constitution to allow for the postponement of its party polls.
The present Parliament term is set to expire in July next year and there has been strong calls for GE15 to be held soon in order to bring about stability in politics.
Ahmad Zahid, in a statement on Thursday (Aug 4), listed out three reasons why the 15th General Election should be expedited.
Among them, said Ahmad Zahid, was the need to ensure stability in politics, strengthening economic growth, and the need for Umno and Barisan Nasional to return as the government to ensure better policies for the people.