SHAH ALAM: Selangor Umno leaders will remain loyal to the party and have vowed to work hard as an opposition despite Datuk Mohamad Fasiah Mohd Fakeh’s departure.
Criticising the Sabak Bernam MP’s decision as regrettable, Selangor Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Mohamad Fasiah should relinquish his seat.
“He should realise that he contested on a Barisan-Umno ticket during the 14th general election.
“It is uncalled for him to quit just like that all of a sudden. It is a betrayal to the voters who supported us,” he said, adding that Mohamad Fasiah was coy when he asked him about the matter last Friday morning.
Mohamad Fasiah’s name had appeared in a viral list of names of Umno MPs allegedly leaving the party.
“He said he had no idea that his name was on the list. But when it was finally confirmed, he could no longer be reached,” Ismail Sabri said.
Mohamad Fasiah quit Umno with five others on Friday.
A letter signed by the six to inform the party of their departure was sent to Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
Ismail Sabri noted that the numbers remained strong at the branch and divisional levels in Selangor Umno despite the defections.
“For example, when MP Jeli Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed announced that he was quitting Umno in September after decades of being a member and leader, the division remained strong.
“None of the branches collapsed or their other members left,” Ismail Sabri said, adding that all four Selangor Umno state assemblymen had vowed to stand by the party.
In GE14, Selangor Barisan Nasional won four out of the 56 state seats and two out of the 22 parliamentary seats it contested.
As there are now laws to punish defectors, Ismail Sabri also called for civil action to be taken against party hoppers.
“They should be hauled to court for all the resources and expenses given to them when they contested,” he said at a press conference held at the Selangor Umno building here yesterday.
Ismail Sabri added that he also supported the enactment of an anti-hopping law.
As for the calls made by party leaders for Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is facing multiple criminal charges, to step down, Ismail Sabri said Selangor Umno would meet to discuss the issue.
He said no official meeting or discussion had been held so far. Many state party leaders are on leave for holiday or umrah.
Also present at the conference were Selangor Umno liaison deputy chairman Datuk Mat Nadzari Ahmad Dahlan, its secretary Datuk Johan Abdul Aziz and several other state leaders, division chiefs and state assemblymen.
In George Town, veteran party life member Tan Sri Mohd Yusoff Latiff said party leaders who were facing pressure to step down should call for a vote of confidence among the members.
He said Dr Ahmad Zahid could prevent further damage to Umno by doing so instead of insisting on a two-thirds vote from party members for him to relinquish his post.