TANJONG KARANG: Former Umno stalwart Tan Sri Noh Omar (pic) has told Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to step down as party president after its dismal performance in the six state elections.
He said Ahmad Zahid should take responsibility for Umno’s defeats while denying the latter’s accusation that he (Noh) had sabotaged Umno, instead pointing that accusation back at the party president.
“I want to congratulate the Umno president for sabotaging his own party. Why didn’t he help his party candidate campaign in Sungai Burong last Friday? Instead, he went to Permatang, which was being contested by a PKR candidate.
“So, who is the one that sabotaged the party? Why would a party president put more importance on another party but not his own?” he said when met at the vote-tallying centre here on Saturday night.
In the Selangor state election, Perikatan Nasional’s Dr Mohd Zamri Mohd Zainuldin from PAS won Sungai Burong after garnering 15,447 votes against Umno’s Mohamad Khir Ramli who got 8,605 votes.
Noh’s daughter, Nurul Syazwani, wrested Permatang from Pakatan Harapan by garnering 12,850 votes against PKR’s Mohd Yahya Mat Sahri who got 11,122 votes.
Noh, who was sacked from Umno in January on allegations that he had sabotaged the party, has since campaigned for Perikatan and vowed to make Tanjong Karang a stronghold for the Opposition coalition.
He, however, has not joined any Perikatan component party. Nurul Syazwani quit Umno to join Bersatu after her father was sacked.
Noh, a six-term Tanjong Karang MP, said Umno’s defeat in northern Selangor seats was a result of Ahmad Zahid’s own doing, including running the party “as if it were his own” without any consensus.
“The state election results from the polling streams show that many young voters in the Malay belt have chosen Perikatan over Barisan. The majority vote in Sungai Burong was over 6,000, which has never happened before,” he said.
In Johor Baru, PKR’s Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim also urged Ahmad Zahid to step down as Umno head over the party’s defeat in 89 seats it had contested.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, as the Pakatan Harapan chairman and PKR president, managed to hold on to the three Pakatan strongholds of Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Penang.
“Yes, there were some seats that were lost to Perikatan but Pakatan, under Anwar’s leadership, has retained its three states.
“Continuous support should be given to Anwar,” added Hassan.
He said Anwar should now review and study the results before the next general election.
“The most important thing for Anwar to do in preparation for that is to regain the Malay support which has by and large gone to Perikatan,” he said in a statement yesterday.