Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has been appointed as the party election director, replacing Pasir Salak member of parliament Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.
The Rantau assemblyman’s appointment comes on the heels of the exchange that took place between Tajuddin and Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan on Umno’s decision to withdraw support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Tajuddin had told a Malay daily that Ahmad had been instructing MPs within Umno to abide by the decision made by the party’s Supreme Council to withdraw support towards Muhyiddin’s leadership.
“I am an MP and I know what to do. Are the MPs (from Umno) that stupid to the extent that we do not know to look after the interest of the party?
“You want us to follow the decision of the party? Kami tahu (We know) lah,” Tajuddin was quoted as saying in the Malay daily.
The appointment of Mohamad, who is also the BN and Umno war room chairman, to the post was announced by Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in a statement today.
“The restructuring of the Umno election machinery department will strengthen the organisation at all levels as well as the party’s grassroots.
“Mohamad’s position as the BN deputy chairman will also facilitate the decision process of the party in preparation for the election aspects which involved all component parties within the coalition.
“Umno Malaysia would also like to record our appreciation to Tajuddin who had previously performed his duties as the party’s election director,” said Zahid.
With Tajuddin’s removal, Zahid is again tightening his grip over the Umno leadership, following a decision by the party to withdraw support for Muhyiddin.
Tajuddin was among those who spoke against withdrawing support for Muhyiddin during an Umno supreme council meeting on July 7.
Among others, Tajuddin said he disagreed with withdrawing support now since the party’s vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been made deputy prime minister.
Zahid has been slowly pruning opponents within Umno in recent months.
In January, he removed Annuar Musa as the BN secretary-general.
In April, he removed Shahidan Kassim as the Perlis Umno head.