Umno panel finds duo guilty of money politics


BY SHAHANAAZ HABIB

KUALA LUMPUR: Kota Baru MP Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim and the younger brother of Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Datuk Shahrir, were found guilty by the Umno disciplinary board of contravening the party’s code of ethics during its election last year. 

Zaid, the Kota Baru Umno division chief, was found guilty of money politics and let off with a warning. 

But Shahrir, who is the Lembah Pantai division chief, has been suspended for three years or one term.  

He was found guilty of holding a gathering of Umno members during the election, which is an offence under Section 5 of the party’s code of ethics. 

Zaid: ‘If someone who did not contest can be found guilty of money politics, then that’samazing.’

The announcement was made yesterday by the disciplinary board chairman Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail. 

When contacted, Zaid expressed his “utter disappointment” over the decision. 

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I won the Kota Baru division chief post uncontested.  

“If someone who did not contest can be found guilty of money politics, then that’s amazing. That’s the irony and tragedy of it,” said Zaid, who added that he would not appeal against the decision. 

Asked why he sounded so sad, Zaid, who owns one of the biggest law firms in the country, said: “My name is important. I didn’t join politics to get my name tarnished.” 

Shahrir, however, said he would appeal to the Umno Appeals Board. 

He said he accepted the board’s decision but was still disappointed about it. 

“My conscience is clear. The truth of the matter is that I never held any gatherings because of the code of ethics. I stayed at home.” 

As a new face going for the Lembah Pantai division chief post, he said members were curious about him and had come to his home to meet him. 

“As a Malay and a Muslim, I have to receive them. I suppose I shouldn’t have stayed at home. I should have left the house and stayed at a hotel instead,” he said. 

Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen also announced that the board had finished dealing with complaints of offences at the division-level elections.  

He said it had received 402 complaints but 170 lacked proof while 140 needed additional documents. 

He said as of April 7, the board had heard 160 cases and found 61 members guilty. Of this number, 32 have appealed.  

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