Zahid: Isham sacked for criticism of Umno as a party

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Umno members are free to criticise him as party president but they should not bring the party into disrepute.

He said the expulsion of Isham Jalil from the supreme council was not because Isham had criticised him.

“There is nothing stopping anyone from criticising the Umno president and there will be no disciplinary action against such criticisms (against me).

“However, when criticisms lead to insults against the party itself and the party is being disparaged by its own member, then the member will be dealt with by the supreme council.

“This is so that there are no ‘tikus membaiki labu’ moves within Umno itself,” he said, citing the Malay idiom, which refers to an ignorant person trying to resolve a problem by worsening the situation further, Ahmad Zahid said.

He was speaking to reporters at the launch of digital ID and driver’s licence services between Malaysia’s MyEG Services Bhd and China’s state-owned Guangxi Beitou Innovation Technology Investment Group Co Ltd here yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid said that Isham’s complaint that his sacking was not done through the right channels as it was not brought before the disciplinary board was uncalled for.

“The decision to sack him was decided by the supreme council. There is no need to bring it to the disciplinary board, as the board will eventually have to bring it to the supreme council.

Ironing the facts out: Ahmad Zahid attending to reporters after launching the digital ID and driver’s licence services by MyEG Services Bhd. — BernamaIroning the facts out: Ahmad Zahid attending to reporters after launching the digital ID and driver’s licence services by MyEG Services Bhd. — Bernama

“The council is the highest decision-making body in Umno and its decisions are final,” he added.

On Dec 6, the supreme council sacked Isham after it was deemed that the former Umno information chief had “crossed the line” after he had criticised Umno and Ahmad Zahid for their dismal performance in the Kemaman by-election on Dec 2.

Isham, who had been vocal in criticising Umno for failing to “reform itself as a corrupt party” had stated that he would not be appealing his sacking.

On another matter, Ahmad Zahid said that PAS should be the one grateful to Umno for having brought it into the then-Perikatan Nasional government in 2020, not the other way around.

He said that this was because in 2020, Umno had led Barisan Nasional with 68 parliamentary seats to form the then-Perikatan government under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, at a time when PAS had only 18 MPs.

He was commenting on a statement by PAS vice-president Datuk Idris Ahmad on Dec 8 that Umno should be thankful to its Perikatan counterpart Bersatu for having helped Umno become a part of the government again in 2020 after having been in the opposition for two years following a defeat in the 14th General Election.

Ahmad Zahid said Idris does not seem to know what Umno has done for PAS.

“PAS should be the one to be grateful to Umno, as at that time, PAS was also part of the opposition. The formation of the then-Perikatan Nasional (back in 2020) came about because of the big contributions of Umno and Barisan MPs.

“At that time, PAS only had 18 MPs whereas Umno and other Barisan parties had 68 parliamentary seats altogether.

“Thus, PAS is the one that should be grateful to Umno, not Umno having to be grateful to Bersatu or PAS,” said Ahmad Zahid.

In Kota Tinggi, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said Isham’s sacking was because his criticisms against Umno had “crossed the line”.

He added that Isham’s statements could undermine one of the largest political parties in the country, so disciplinary action had to be taken to remove him from Umno.

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Ahmad Zahid Hamidi , Isham Jalil , Umno , sacking


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