'Many would follow me into PKR' - Zahidi
Zahidi - FILE PIC
Zahidi explained the intent was voiced by many including those at the national level following his decision to send in a PKR application form on Feb 4.
He said the scenario took place when a majority of grassroots, branch and division leaderships were upset with Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's decision to cleanse the party without following proper party procedures.
"The move by the Umno president to 'cleanse' the party is good because now many will follow my lead into PKR.
"I will officially join PKR on Feb 4, along with 100 Padang Besar Umno Division members, many of the Padang Besar branches are also expected to be disbanded soon.
"Many have asked me on how to join PKR including those from the Umno central leadership. they are also those who have voiced their intention to join Perikatan Nasional (PN) because they all disagreed with the president's ways," he told Sinar Premium.
Umno is expected to begin the party election process after what has been dubbed as the 'cleanse' or 'purge' of some of its notable members and leaders.
More than 40 members were sacked as a disciplinary action for allegedly going against the party leadership during the 15th General Election (GE15).
Among the big names sacked were former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and former Selangor Umno chairman Tan Sri Noh Omar.
Some were suspended for six years notably Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Umno Youth deputy chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan, former Jempol MP Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Sharif and Tebrau Umno Division Chief Datuk Maulizan Bujang.
In GE15, the former Padang Besar Umno Division chief contested in the Padang Besar Parliamentary seat under an independent ticket.
He was sacked immediately along with three other leaders which include former Perlis Umno chairman Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, former Maran MP Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib and former Arau Umno Division leader Azhar Ahmad.
Zahidi said he did not blame Zahid for sacking and suspending members who were not aligned to him or his ideologies.
He said the best method for the deputy prime minister was to remain in power as Umno president as long as he could.
"Fortunately, the judges in this country can't be fired by Zahid, otherwise they would be fired for not supporting him," he said sarcastically.
Meanwhile, Arau MP Shahidan viewed the recent cleanse of the party as a move that could strengthen Zahid's influence but will weaken the party's influence as a whole.
Shahidan. - Photo by Bernama.
"We support the decision to sack Umno leaders on the basis of upholding the aspirations of unity. Umno's weakness will help us record better results in the next six state elections," he said.
DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook when met by reporters during the 2023 PAU at the Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre.