Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has won the UMNO presidency with 134 nominations out of a possible 191. This would be the first step towards his prime ministership. He will be officially designated as the new president at the UMNO general assembly scheduled for 24-28 March 2009.
Former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Najib's only rival, barely eked out one nomination from the Gua Musang division which he heads. Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister Muhyiddin Yassin looks confirmed to be in the UMNO deputy president post, leading in the polls for that post.
Najib attributed his victory to grassroots support for his leadership transition plan from his predecessor. His win is quickly praised by Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who saw the Najib victory as providing the strength of leadership needed to dispel the perception of disharmony and division within the party.
Muhyiddin also attributed to the outcome of the UMNO presidency to his wisdom and capabilities demonstrated as Deputy Prime Minister. Muhyiddin lists assisting Najib and managing the economic crisis as his priorities. Muhyiddin has so far received 77 nominations and, unlike Najib, he runs against rivals Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam (31 nominations), Regional and Rural Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib (26 nominations) and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad (1 nomination).
Bernama, "Najib's Win Will Provide Needed Leadership Strength - Muhyiddin" dated 3 November 2008 in the Bernama website [downloaded on 3 November 2008], available at http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=368875
Channelnewsasia, "DPM Najib wins UMNO presidency unopposed " dated 3 November 2008 in the Channelnewsasia website [downloaded on 3 November 2008], available at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view/387210/1/.html