ALOR SETAR: The Sungai Petani Umno division delegates meeting was disrupted for about 45 minutes when half of the 440 delegates demanded that division chief Ali Yahya step down.
The incident occurred during the opening ceremony of the meeting at a hotel in Sungai Petani on Sunday by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
Division committee member Mohd Yusuf Lazim stood up right after the delegates sang the national anthem at about 9.30am and openly said that he was not satisfied with Ali’s performance as division chief and wanted him to step down.
He received support from half the delegates, including division vice-chairman Datuk Firdaus Zakaria and Sungai Petani Wanita Umno chief Shahanim Mohd Yusof.
A heated verbal spat ensued for about 45 minutes between those who supported Ali and those who wanted him out.
The group opposing Ali did not relent when Umno supreme council member Datuk Abdul Azeez Abd Rahim, who held a watching brief for the Umno headquarters, asked them to allow Ali to give his welcoming speech.
The dispute only ended when Abdul Azeez asked the delegates to allow Jamil Khir to deliver his opening speech.
The meeting proceeded and ended at about 4pm. It is learnt that Ali did not deliver his welcoming speech.
Ali could not be reached for comment.