Committee formed to end Umno’s Team A vs Team B war

(FMT) – After a few years of internal discord following Umno’s shock election defeat in 2018, party leaders have been working to bridge the divide between two main factions ahead of the next general election (GE15), says a Supreme Council member.

Former Perak menteri besar Zambry Kadir said that a consultative committee, comprising members from both camps met twice since last month to hash out issues such as food security and the rising cost of living, The Straits Times reported.

“The purpose of the committee is to discuss government policy with regard to political and economic issues in the best interest of the party and the people,” Zambry told the Singapore daily.

He added that it was to reach an understanding and present a united front with GE15 possibly happening this year.

According to The Straits Times, Zambry, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general, led the group aligned to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, while rural development minister Mahdzir Khalid spoke for those who are aligned to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

One of the main points of contention that divides the two factions in the party is the timing of GE15.

Those aligned to Zahid want it to be held this year, to build on the momentum gained from state election victories in Melaka and Johor.

However, all Umno leaders serving in the Cabinet want the current government to serve its full term until July 2023.

In the meantime, the former has started to take the necessary action in the event Parliament is dissolved this year.

“The BN machinery has already begun its pre-election programmes in anticipation of the nation going to the polls in the third or fourth quarter of this year,” Zambry was quoted as saying by the daily.