Malaysia – Senior UMNO officials have started arriving at the party’s headquarters for a meeting of the supreme council to determine their posts on the Melaka state election.
Datuk Seri Abdul Rauf Yusoh, the Melaka state legislative speaker and head of the Melaka UMNO liaison committee, and Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, the caretaker chief minister, were among those spotted entering Menara Dato Onn about 8.20pm.
The meeting was assumed to have been planned for 8 pm.
UMNO supreme council member Tan Sri Annuar Musa stated earlier that the party will decide whether to fight the state election alone or alongside Barisan Nasional.
Although UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi previously said that the party and BN would be voting alone in Melaka, without PAS or Bersatu.
Ahmad Zahid’s remarks cast doubt on the party’s Muafakat Nasional pact with PAS, forged after Barisan Nasional lost the 2018 elections.
Other leaders arrived early, including Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahman, and Jelebu MP Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias.
Deputy Chief Minister Bung Moktar Radin of Sabah, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, Lenggong MP Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, and Pahang state executive member Datuk Shakar Samsudin were next.
Ahmad Zahid and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob did not enter the building through the main lobby, but are thought to have entered through the basement door, which is not visible to the media.
The need for a new state government, Melaka’s third in as several years, was prompted by four assemblymen withdrawing their support for UMNO’s Sulaiman Md Ali, thus forcing him to lose his majority.
Datuk Seri Idris Haron (Sungai Udang), Datuk Noor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundur), Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas), and Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Telok Mas) are the four representatives (Pengkalan Batu).
Idris, a former chief minister, and Noor Azman were subsequently fired by UMNO for turning their backs on the BN-led administration, while Noor Effandi was also fired by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia for her betrayal. Norhizam, a former DAP member, is now an independent. Following their departure, Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam agreed to the state assembly’s dissolution, triggering the need for 60-day snap elections