Stay out of meeting, sec-gen told


  • Nation
  • Monday, 06 Jan 2003

BY DEVID RAJAH

Strong support: Razak showing an Internet poll result that favours Zainal staying on as MTUC president during a press conference at the Transport Workers Union Sunday.

PETALING JAYA: The leadership crisis in the MTUC plunged deeper yesterday when a group of supporters aligned to president Senator Zainal Rampak called on their secretary-general G. Rajasekaran to stay out of a Cuepacs-initiated meeting between Zainal and his deputy Shafie B.P. Mammal. 

The group led by MTUC vice president Abdul Razak Md Hassan claimed they had lost confidence in Rajasekaran and that he had not been neutral in his stand in the dispute between Zainal and Shafie. 

Razak, who spoke on behalf of the group known as Barisan mantap presiden (the president’s solid front), said they viewed Rajasekaran’s press statements on the matter had deviated from his responsibility as the secretary-general. 

Claiming to represent 50 to 60 unions under MTUC, Razak said a majority of the affiliated unions wanted Zainal to continue serving the MTUC until the end of his term in 2004. 

He also said his group was disappointed with Shafie for using harsh words on Zainal and calling him a traitor publicly for not honouring the Memorandum of Understanding. 

(There was a previous understanding that Zainal would step down on Dec 31 to pave the way for Shafie to assume the post. However, Zainal had declared that he would stay on to complete his term.) 

“The pact is unconstitutional because Zainal and Shafie cannot make individual agreements without getting the consent of the MTUC general council,” said Razak, who was flanked by at least 15 union leaders.  

Among them were MTUC vice presidents W.M. Naim Shukri Mohamad and Md Yusop Harmain Shah, MTUC wanita committee chairman Noorlaila Aslah and National Union of Newspaper Workers general secretary R. Chandrasekaran. 

He said Shafie had no right to take over the presidency without the support of the general council. 

He said his group was prepared to go to court and defend Zainal if certain quarters within MTUC planned to challenge the MoU in court. 

He said a majority of MTUC affiliates were disappointed with Shafie for not respecting the constitution and threatening to create factions in the umbrella body. 

“We doubt his leadership qualities,” he said.  

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