PETALING JAYA: Despite Umno leaders warning Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to be wary that he was not following due process, the party president still went ahead and “axed" several leaders at the party's supreme council meeting on Friday (Jan 27) night, said a source.
The source said that five supreme council members objected to Ahmad Zahid's decision and only three agreed with him.
"Ahmad Zahid - in his opening remarks - made the announcement of the sacking of former Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin and the list of those suspended from the party.
"Former Selangor Umno state chief Tan Sri Noh Omar immediately stood up and asked that he be sacked instead of being suspended for six years. Ahmad Zahid then retorted, ‘if you want that, so be it'.
"When opened to the floor, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob stood up and argued that sacking and suspension must be made in accordance with the laws and due process.
"The Bera MP said that those in the list must first be given a show cause letter, the right to defend themselves before the disciplinary board, then an appeal to the management before the Umno Supreme Council makes a decision.
"Ismail said suspending and sacking Umno leaders and members without a show cause letter is unfair as they would not be able to defend themselves and they would also not know the reason they were axed.
"He said that the people will judge Umno by the actions of not following due process this will in turn backlash at Umno during elections when the grassroots vote in protest.
"A few other supreme council members also stood up to state their disapproval at the suspension and sacking without following the due process as stated in the Umno constitution.
"Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican also spoke up and said Khairy should not be sacked and pleaded with Ahmad Zahid to show some mercy.
"However, after they spoke, Ahmad Zahid insisted that he was sticking to what he announced and refused to budge," said the source.
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.
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.
Umno in a press statement said actions were taken against those involved for criticising the party president and working with opposition parties during the last general election.