Sembrong Umno div stands by their chief, criticises Hisham's suspension

Sembrong Umno deputy chief Abd Ghani Abd Rashid (end of the table) chairing a special division meeting at the Sembrong Umno division office in Taman Sri Lambak, Kluang in the wake of Hishammuddin’s suspension on Sunday (Jan 29).

KLUANG: The Umno supreme council’s decision to suspend former Sembrong division chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for six years was "too heavy".

Its division deputy chief Abd Ghani Abd Rashid said the division was collectively disappointed and shocked by the suspension.

"It was as if the top party leadership had disregarded Hishammuddin’s hard work, sacrifices and loyalty for the party and the nearly 20 years he put into building the Sembrong Umno division.

ALSO READ: Umno purge: This is not the end, merely a beginning, says Hisham

"In the years he was division chief, Hishammuddin had never shown disloyalty or issued statements that hurt the party; it is reckless to suspend him for six years.

"We demand an explanation from the supreme council on its decision as it was too heavy without the due process, show cause letter and disciplinary hearing," he told a press conference on Sunday (Jan 29) after chairing a special division meeting in Taman Sri Lambak here in the wake of Hishammuddin’s suspension.

Hishammuddin was suspended for six years, in a decision made by the Umno supreme council late Friday (Jan 27) night.

On Saturday (Jan 28) night, Hishammuddin in a TikTok video vowed to stand up against the decision to suspend his Umno membership for six years.

ALSO READ: Suspended leaders remain strong, vow to fight back

In the video posted at about 8pm, Hishammuddin said he would not be broken, with a quote stating that the struggle has just begun.

"What has happened will not break my spirit to continue my struggle for my religion, race and country.

"This is not the end, but merely a beginning," said the former defence minister.

Hishammuddin, who is also the grandson of Datuk Onn Jaafar who founded Umno in 1946, had been with Umno for 35 years since 1989.

Hishammuddin was allegedly one of the 10 Barisan Nasional MPs who signed support for Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to be the 10th prime minister after the last general election.

ALSO READ: Former Umno leaders return fire - Khairy and Noh say due process not followed in sacking decision

The 10, however, retracted their support, after Barisan chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid said that Barisan would support Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the 10th prime minister en bloc.

At a late night meeting on Friday, the Umno supreme council sacked former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and supreme council member Tan Sri Noh Omar.

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.

They were deemed to have been sacked for criticising the party president and working with opposition parties during the last general election.

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