Hishammuddin’s suspension ‘too harsh’

KLUANG: As its members reel from the shock of Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s six-year suspension from the party, the Sembrong Umno division wants answers from the supreme council on the decision, says its deputy chairman Abd Ghani Abd Rashid.

He said the punishment on their division head was too harsh.

“It was as if the top party leadership had disregarded Hishammuddin’s hard work, sacrifices and loyalty to the party. He’s spent nearly 20 years of his life building the division.

“In the years he was chief, he had never shown disloyalty or issued statements that hurt Umno.

“We demand an explanation from the supreme council as the suspension was too heavy and done without due process.

“No show cause letter was sent nor was a disciplinary hearing carried out,” Abd Ghani told the media after chairing a special meeting at the division office in Taman Sri Lambak here yesterday.

During the press conference, some of the division’s committee members were seen wiping away tears.

Abd Ghani said the division would meet with the 66 branches comprising about 14,000 members to explain the situation.

“We need to quickly navigate the situation and manage their perception following the supreme council’s decision, to prevent members from taking harsh actions.

“There have been voices of dissatisfaction following what happened, but the division has not received any official documentation (of resignation) from party members,” he said, adding that he would ensure the party’s activities, including the upcoming polls, went on as planned.

Abd Ghani said Hishammuddin had advised the division to remain loyal and put the party’s interests before personal ones.

He also said in the meantime, he would be assuming the duties of the division chief according to the party’s constitution.

After his suspension on Friday night, Hishammuddin had in a TikTok video the next day vowed to stand up against the decision to suspend his Umno membership.

“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,” he said.

Hishammuddin, a grandson of Datuk Onn Jaafar, who founded Umno in Johor in 1946, had been with the party since 1989.

The former defence minister was allegedly one of the 10 Barisan Nasional MPs who endorsed Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the 10th prime minister after the 15th General Election last November.

The 10, however, retracted their support after Barisan chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the coalition would back Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister instead.

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