PETALING JAYA: There is nothing unusual about the sacking of Khairy Jamaluddin and suspension of Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein from Umno, says Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zakarshi.
“What is unusual is Khairy’s move to slam the party and the president during the campaign period for the 15th General Election. The party became a sacrificial lamb to gain votes,” said the Umno supreme council member.
“Not sure why Khairy was sacked. But Khairy crossed the line. Tarnishing the party and the president during the GE15 campaign was too much. The slander of phantom voters during the 2022 Umno AGM was malicious.
“Hishamuddin’s decision was more outrageous,” he added.
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Puad claimed that Hishammuddin had brought Umno MPs to Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s home and had asked Sabah division chiefs to join Bersatu.
He went on to claim that Hishammuddin was the main Barisan Nasional MP to shore up support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to be appointed as prime minister through the signing of statutory declarations in November 2022.
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On Friday (Jan 27), Umno sacked former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Noh Omar.
Others punished included former Umno vice-president and Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who was suspended for six years.
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Former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan, former youth exco member Datuk Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahya, former Johor state exco member and Tebrau Umno division chief Datuk Maulizan Bujang and former Jempol MP Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Mohd Shariff were also suspended for six years.
“Is this shocking? The party must be brave as those who were sacked were brave enough to slander the party. Bersatu sacked Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and Mukhriz (Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir), PKR sacked Azmin, Tian Chua and Zuraida (Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin). There is nothing unusual,” Puad said.
“Some said Youth will run away from Umno. We want to ask, how many youths did they bring in to support Umno’s crusade?” he asked.
On whether the decision on the sackings and suspensions was democratic, Puad said the matter was decided by the disciplinary board.
“This is not the president’s decision. It is just that this time the president brought the (disciplinary board’s) proposal to the supreme council,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday (Jan 28).
He said usually the chairman of the management committee would bring the disciplinary board’s proposal. He said Noh Omar, who was present at the supreme council meeting, was confused and ended up accusing Ahmad Zahid as making his own decision.
Citing Dr Mahathir’s sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 1998, Puad said Dr Mahathir had bypassed the disciplinary board and brought the proposal to sack Anwar directly to the supreme council.
He said Noh Omar was sacked because he was accused of sabotaging the party and there were 16 reports against him.
Puad said those who are dissatisfied are exploiting the narrative that the party will split.
However, the party has already been long divided due to those who like to go against the party’s decisions.
He said after Umno was unseated in the 14th General Election, there were leaders who drifted apart from the party, due to the fear of being linked to the court cluster and out of fear of being called up by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
“They were sitting on the fence. Sometimes they stab from the back. Now they have been sacked or suspended. What is wrong if they are seated outside of the fence.”
He said sacking was painful but it was needed.
Puad said if those who were given the boot love the party, they could appeal the decision.
He added that if they do not want to appeal, they can wait out the six-year suspension if they do not have other options.