Zahid’s decision to sack, suspend members disapproved by several supreme council members
SHAH ALAM - Umno President, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had went ahead with his decision to suspend and axe party members, despite being warned by several supreme council leaders to follow the party's due processes in the matter.
In a report by The Star which quoted sources, five supreme council members had objected to Zahid's decision, while three had agreed with his decision in the meeting which was held last Friday.
“Zahid in his opening speech announced the dismissal of former Rembau MP, Khairy Jamaluddin and listed (members who) were suspended from the party.
“The former Umno Selangor Chairman, Tan Sri Noh Omar immediately got up and asked for his dismissal instead of being suspended for six years.
"Zahid then replied, 'if that's what you want, so be it'," he said.
The source further shared that Umno Vice President Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob then stood up and argued that the dismissal and suspension must be done according to party rules and processes.
Ismail had said that those who were listed needed to be presented with a show cause letter first and have the right to defend themselves before the disciplinary board to which after they could appeal their case before the supreme council came to a decision.
"He (Ismail) said suspending and dismissing Umno leaders and members without a show cause letter is unfair because they cannot defend themselves and do not know the reason for their dismissal.
"Several other supreme council members, including Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and Datuk Armand Azha Abu Hanifah also spoke out expressing their disagreement because it didn’t follow the proper process as enshrined in the Umno constitution.
"They argued that Umno will bear the consequences for not following the correct process and this will in turn lead to retaliation against Umno during the election when the grassroots vote in protest.
"Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican pleaded with Zahid to show mercy to Khairy," explained the source.
The local media outlet also quoted other sources which claimed that Zahid theoretically had the power to be autocratic under the Umno constitution.
"It's just that, since Umno leaders always discuss before making any major decisions that affects the party, it surprised many when he continued to announce it to the supreme council and then to the public," said the source.
On Friday, the party's supreme council decided to sack Noh and Khairy for breach of discipline during the 15th General Election (GE15).
Umno also suspended the membership of several other leaders for six years such as Sembrong MP, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein; former Information Head, Shahril Sufian Hamdan; Umno Tebrau Division Chief, Datuk Maulizan Bujang and former Jempol MP, Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Mohd Sharif.