KUALA LUMPUR: Former Selangor Barisan Nasional information chief Isham Jalil has been appointed as the newest Umno supreme council member.
The appointment came in the wake of the removal of Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman as a member of the council earlier in the day.
Confirmation of his appointment came by way of a congratulatory message posted by Umno supreme council member Datuk Dr Puad Zarkashi last night.
“Congratulations, my brother Isham Jalil,” said Puad in his Facebook post.
The post was accompanied by a photograph of Isham taking his oath during the supreme council meeting.
Isham was previously removed as the Selangor Barisan information chief following a statement he made about PAS.
His sudden removal had raised many questions among political observers.
Earlier, an analyst said Tajuddin’s removal was a strategic move to strengthen the party’s top leadership.
Azmi Hassan, a senior fellow from Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research (NASR), described the decision to drop Tajuddin as to ensure his controversial character is not going to be a liability for Umno during the coming general election.
“It’s killing two birds with one stone. One to disassociate Umno from Tajuddin because he’s a liability, especially during his tenure as Prasarana Malaysia Bhd chairman.
“It is also a strategic move by the party to ensure the supreme council acts in one voice,” he said.
Tajuddin was terminated as Prasarana Malaysia chairman on May 26 last year following a disastrous press conference on an LRT mishap two days earlier.
Tajuddin was also fined for breaching Covid-19 protocols for appearing at the press conference wearing a face shield without a mask.
Azmi also commented on Tajuddin’s expected appointment as Malaysia’s ambassador to Indonesia, saying that this is the best time for Umno to drop the Pasir Salak MP.
“Tajuddin is also not in line with others in the supreme council. So, this is a good time for Umno to drop him,” he added.
Yesterday, a letter by Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan dated June 21 made its round on social media, which stated that Tajuddin’s services in the party had been terminated.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan confirmed the authenticity of the letter.
Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the sudden termination of Tajuddin as supreme council member was not surprising as Tajuddin should know the reasons for the removal.
“It is unfair if I tell you why. But surely, he knows what he did to the party,” Ahmad Zahid told reporters on the sidelines after launching the Barisan Nasional Youth Job Fair 2022 yesterday.
“Ask him, what statements did he make? What were the contents of his speech, ceramah or any matters he raised in closed-door meetings,” he added.
Ahmad Zahid also said Tajuddin could not appeal the party’s decision to remove him.
“Appeals for membership can be made. But appeals for appointed positions, I think, can’t be done,” he said.
“It is the prerogative of the party’s president to appoint leaders to the supreme council.
“I’m of the opinion that any supreme council member should respect the party’s decision and resolution.
“A resolution has to be abided by. Of course, we can differ in opinion but when the party makes a decision, we have to toe the party’s line, not otherwise,” said the Bagan Datuk MP.
“We must accept decisions made according to provisions in the party constitution,” he added.
In July last year, Ahmad Zahid also removed Tajuddin as the Umno elections director and replaced him with Mohamad.