PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan has cast doubt that Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman's defiance towards Umno's leadership was widely supported within the party.
"Who wants disunity? There are 191 division chiefs. So, how many of them are like Tajuddin?
"Perhaps three per cent? What is the exact percentage?" said the Umno secretary-general when contacted.
Ahmad, who's also Pontian MP, said Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had ultimately paid the price after he decided to go against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's target to dissolve Umno previously.
"The Umno president paid an expensive price by fighting Dr Mahathir's wishes.
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"May Allah grant strength to the party president for his sacrifices," added Ahmad.
Ahmad Zahid had previously claimed that in his five previous meetings with Dr Mahathir from 2018 to 2020, the Langkawi MP had urged the Bagan Datuk MP to dissolve Umno and "migrate" its members to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
In a tell-all press conference lasting more than one-and-a-half hours on Monday (June 27) afternoon, Tajuddin revealed an alleged movement led by Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Datuk Seri Najib Razak to pressure Ahmad Zahid into resigning as party president.
Tajuddin alleged that the plot was to obtain signatures from division chiefs in a memorandum calling for Ahmad Zahid's resignation and preliminary internal party studies have shown that this move was supported by 131 out of 191 Umno division chiefs.
However, Tajuddin said the move to urge Ahmad Zahid to resign fizzled out after Mohamad and Najib backed out.
Mohamad and Najib have yet to respond to claims made by Tajuddin.
Tajuddin's press conference came following his removal as Umno supreme council member, in a letter dated June 21 by Ahmad Maslan.
Ahmad Zahid said the sudden termination of Tajuddin as a supreme council member wasn't surprising as the Pasir Salak MP himself should know the reasons for his removal.
Former Selangor Barisan information chief Isham Jalil was later appointed on Friday (June 24) as his replacement.