Concerns raised over pledge documents binding BN candidates - Umno leader

27 Jun 2023 11:03am
Former Umno leader expresses concerns over inconsistent handling of pledge documents - FILE PIX by Bernama
Former Umno leader expresses concerns over inconsistent handling of pledge documents - FILE PIX by Bernama

SHAH ALAM - A leader of Umno has been suspended from the party for raising concerns about the credibility of the pledge documents that bind Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates, which they signed in the 15th General Election (GE15).

The leader expressed worry that these documents would be disregarded by BN headquarters if they do not align with the interests of certain "groups."

Former Umno Tebrau division chief, Datuk Maulizan Bujang, said that the revelation of the pledge documents, which required GE15 candidates to provide a guarantee of RM100 million, by former Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, is seen as inconsistent, given that BN headquarters failed to take action during the Sabah political crisis after GE15.

He pointed out that when the BN Sabah chairman, Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, withdrew the party's support for the Sabah government led by Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor earlier this year, BN headquarters did not take any action against five State Assemblymen and several Umno members of Sabah Parliament who clearly disregarded the party's decision and continued to support Hajiji.

"While there was clear disobedience among Umno representatives in Sabah towards the state's instructions, Umno did not take any action, including enforcing the terms of the binding pledge documents for BN candidates, which would have allowed the party to sue them for RM100 million," he told Sinar Premium.

Therefore, Maulizan believes that Umno and BN need to acknowledge that their current leadership does not adhere firmly to these pledge documents and that they are being disregarded through inconsistent party actions.

"It seems as if the laws and regulations created by the party only serve the interests of specific 'groups'," said the former Johor state government Exco member, who was suspended from Umno for six years in January.

He made these statements in response to Ahmad's recent revelation.

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Ahmad, who is also the Pontian MP, stated that all BN candidates, including those from Umno, were required to sign pledge documents prepared by BN lawyers in accordance with the legal framework to bind them before receiving appointment letters as GE15 candidates.

The Umno Supreme Council member stated that all election candidates who agreed to accept the appointment letters were fully aware and willingly subject to being sued for RM100 million if they violated the core essence of the agreement.

Ahmad's revelation follows the Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision on Friday, which allowed Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to claim RM10 million from its former deputy president, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin, regarding the issue of violating the terms of a signed bond in 2018.

In a related matter, Maulizan also rejected Ahmad's claim that the existence of the binding pledge documents for BN candidates played a significant role in obstructing the efforts of ten BN Members of Parliament from signing a statutory declaration (SD) to support Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the Prime Minister before the formation of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

Instead, he claimed that the purpose of those 10 BN MPs signing the SD to support Muhyiddin was to prevent specific individuals from supporting Pakatan Harapan's (PH) Chairman, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, without the consent of BN and Umno, as well as the Umno Supreme Council, at that time.

"I am aware that there is solid evidence of a letter being sent by certain individuals to support Anwar as the Prime Minister without the knowledge of Umno and BN Supreme Council when the Parliament was still in a hung state.

"That is why the SD supporting Muhyiddin was made to prevent actions supporting Anwar from becoming PM without the approval of BN and the Umno Supreme Council at that time.

"When BN decided to withdraw before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong recommended the formation of a unity government, the SD was subsequently retracted in accordance with the party's decision and handed over to the BN chairman, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi," he explained.

Maulizan also expressed surprise at the top leadership of Umno for still using the issue of signing the SD in support of Muhyiddin as the Prime Minister as a basis for suspending and dismissing several key party leaders, even though it was previously considered resolved after the establishment of the unity government.

"I find it perplexing that only Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein (Sembrong MP) was suspended out of the 10 Members of Parliament who were involved in signing the SD. Why is that the case?

"Although the party's top leadership refuses to acknowledge it, I believe that this action was taken due to rumors suggesting that Hishammuddin intended to contest the position of Umno President to challenge Ahmad Zahid, along with KJ (Khairy Jamaluddin)," he added.

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