KUALA LUMPUR: Three Umno Members of Parliament who quit the party recently should vacate their seats immediately, says party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said they had contested and won the seats in the general election as Barisan Nasional and Umno candidates.
“If they have principles, they should vacate their seats and face a by-election like other election candidates,” he told a press conference after chairing the party supreme council meeting here yesterday.
The three who abandoned Umno and became independent MPs are former Puteri chief Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Masjid Tanah), Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang) and Datuk Noor Azmi Ghazali (Bagan Serai).
On another matter, Dr Ahmad Zahid said yesterday’s meeting here also marked the end of the services of Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as party secretary-general and Datuk Seri Abdul Rauf Yusoh as executive secretary.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the meeting had agreed to defer the appointments of the new secretary-general, executive secretary as well as the five nominated supreme council members until a later date.
He added this was because he needed more time to discuss the matter with Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and the three vice-presidents Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the meeting also agreed on the setting up of a research unit to be headed by Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and a legal unit that would be headed by Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
Both are supreme council members.
“A research unit will be formed to look into national issues and not just political matters, while a special unit headed by Azalina will look into legal issues that affect the party and its members,” he added.
He said Umno will discuss with other Opposition parties on who will be selected as Opposition Leader in Parliament.
Earlier, Dr Ahmad Zahid led the supreme council members in a swearing-in ceremony to mark the official line-up of the council for the 2018-2021 term.
Yesterday was also the first supreme council meeting chaired by Dr Ahmad Zahid as Umno president.