Puad: It was not Zahid’s decision - Sacking and suspension based on disciplinary board’s recommendation

Party headquarters: Ahmad Zahid says he will respond to the party’s decision on the Umno members soon. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The sacking and suspension of Umno leaders was not president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s own decision but was based on the disciplinary board’s recommendation, says Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zakarshi.

On whether the decision on the sacking and suspension was democratic, the Umno supreme council member said the matter was decided by the disciplinary board.

“This was 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 yesterday.

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Puad said the chairman of the management committee usually brings the disciplinary board’s proposal.

Citing Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’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.

Former Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin was sacked while Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Noh Omar asked to be sacked instead of being suspended.

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Meanwhile, Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, 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 all suspended for six years.

Puad said Noh Omar, who was present at the supreme council meeting on Friday, was confused and ended up accusing Ahmad Zahid of making the decision on his own.

He said Noh Omar was sacked because he was accused of sabotaging the party and there were 16 reports against him.

He explained that there was nothing unusual about the sacking of Khairy and suspension of Hishammuddin from Umno.

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“What is unusual is Khairy’s move to slam the party and the president during the 15th General Election campaign period. The party became a sacrificial lamb to gain votes.

“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 actions were more outrageous,” he added.

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.

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He also claimed that Hishammuddin was the main Barisan Nasional MP shoring up support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to be appointed prime minister through the signing of statutory declarations last year.

“Is this shocking? The party must be brave as those who were sacked were brave enough to slander the party.

“Bersatu sacked Dr Mahathir and Mukhriz (Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir), PKR sacked Azmin, Tian Chua (Chua Tian Chang) and Zuraida (Datuk Zuraida Kamarud- din). There is nothing unusual.

“Some said youth will run away from Umno. We want to ask, ‘How many youths did they bring in to support Umno’s crusade?’” Puad questioned.

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He said those who are dissatisfied are exploiting the narrative that the party will split. However, Umno has already been divided due to those who like to go against the party’s decisions, he noted.

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, Puad said.

“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, adding that although the sacking was painful, it was necessary.

He said if those who were suspended truly love the party, they could appeal the decision.

If they do not want to appeal, they can wait out the six-year suspension if they do not have other options, he added.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said he will respond on the party’s decision on the Umno leaders later.

“Wait for my response. I will speak about it in a function which will be held soon,” the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters after attending the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) Carnival 2023 at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.

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