KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi does not discount the possibility of the party being deregistered in the wake of its accounts being frozen and leaders investigated.
“Rumours about this are circulating. Apparently, there will be more party individuals who will be investigated or charged.
“We accept this but whatever form of action taken against the party or its members must be according to the law,” he told reporters at the end of the Umno general assembly here yesterday.
He said a priority after the assembly was to recover all of Umno’s assets from its trustees and nominees.
“I have tasked treasurer-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor with working on this and later presenting it to the management committee as well as the supreme council so that everyone has a clear picture of the party’s finances.
“There is talk that we have billions of ringgit worth of assets but after initial checks against liabilities, it is not that much,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said legal action would also be taken against an individual who had been given the trust by a former party president to look after Umno’s assets.
However, he did not name the past president nor what had happened to Umno’s properties under the indvidual’s care.
Asked how Umno planned to finance itself after the freezing of its accounts, he said: “Our approach is low-cost but high-impact.”
On critics questioning his government-in-waiting stand, he said in politics, one should be prepared for any eventuality and seize opportunities that came knocking.
However, Dr Ahmad Zahid, who was presiding over the annual general assembly for the first time, said while he did speak about the possibility, he did not give a specific timeline as to when this might happen.
“In politics, there is nothing static nor is there anything certain. We wouldn’t know what will happen.
“We cannot be jumud (close-minded). We must be open to changes,” he said during his winding up speech.
Pakatan Harapan government’s failure in keeping its manifesto pledges as well as its flip-flop decisions on certain policies, said Dr Ahmad Zahid, gave Umno – which has a large representation in Parliament – a good chance of returning to power.
He said those who wanted to criticise should understand the issue and where his statement had come from.
“We want to bring Umno back to life (after GE14 defeat). Don’t poke holes in the ship and let it sink. If that’s the case, then you are a traitor to the party.
“Have some decorum when you want to criticise. This is Zahid, full stop,” he said, bringing on the fiery and aggressive style of his Umno Youth chief days.
On the rebranding of Barisan National, a task force would be set up to draw up a proposal, with Umno Youth, Wanita and the Puteri wings giving their input, he said, adding that the task force had 100 days to come up with the plan.
Barisan’s proposed rebranding will see Umno, MCA, MIC, MyPPP and PBRS as pillar parties in the coalition.
There will also be, among others, associated parties, Barisan-friendly parties and non-governmental organisations.
Did you find this article insightful?