PETALING JAYA: Umno's purge of senior party leaders was done as a safeguard in case the party was not given an exemption by the Home Ministry on the no-contest motion for its top two posts, says Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
The Sembrong MP, who was handed a six-year suspension by Umno in January, claimed that this was why former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin was also sacked by the party.
"What has happened to Umno? Now the Home Minister has been dragged into this.
"Now we know why we were sacked and suspended, just in case the minister did not give an exemption!" said Hishamuddin.
He made the remarks in the comment section on an Instagram video posted by Khairy on Tuesday (March 7).
Khairy had commented on the decision by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution to give Umno an exemption under the Societies Act 1966 on the resolution for no contests for the posts of president and deputy president passed during the party’s 2022 general assembly.
Khairy had said in the clip that if Saifuddin had to resort to using his ministerial power to exempt Umno from contesting the president and deputy president post, this showed that a law had been breached.
"It's a shame that the Home Minister has to give them an exemption just so that Umno can safeguard its top two leaders currently holding the president and deputy president posts. As a former Umno man, I am disappointed by this move," he said.
On Jan 28, Umno sacked 44 members, including Khairy and former Selangor chief Tan Sri Noh Omar and suspended four members for six years, including Hishamuddin, who had once been the vice-president.
Civil society groups including Transparency International Malaysia and Bersih had also called out Saifuddin for granting the exemption and have urged him to justify his reasons.