Umno fine with two strong personalities - Shahril
Published:  Jun 18, 2020 3:05 PM
Updated: 7:27 AM

(Editor's note: This story has been edited to better reflect Shahril's comments.)

Umno has no issue with having two strong leaders working together and that itself is an indication of the party's depth, said its information chief Shahril Hamdan.

"Umno is blessed with a number of strong personalities who have their own personal brands and their own personal popularity but a lot of their independent popularity has often been overblown or misinterpreted as there being tension," Shahril told the Malay Mail Online in an interview.

"I think everyone is able to speak to one another. We’ve seen photos of meetings, we see all of those things indicating that, actually, the individuals themselves get along," added Shahril who also dismissed suggestions of factionalism in the party.

Najib Abdul Razak was Umno president until he stepped down following its defeat in the 2018 elections to be replaced by current party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid himself took a seven-month leave of absence in the first half of 2019 during which deputy president Mohamad Hasan led the party in an acting capacity.

“I'm sure there are disagreements here and there but that is a healthy set of things to have. In terms of the party structure, it is clear that the party president is at the top and Mat Hasan is the deputy,” said Shahril.

“These two run the show but if there is any key policy decision, obviously the president has the final say together with the supreme council as a whole.

“I think that’s not a big thing that’s happening. It is just right now we have a few personalities that are really strong and have large (numbers of supporters) but that doesn't translate into tension,’’ he added.

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