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Zahid chides those ditching Umno as it faces test
Published:  Sep 19, 2018 5:50 AM
Updated: 11:36 AM

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has criticised those who have turned their backs on Umno when it is facing a test following its defeat in the May 9 general election.

“This is not a praiseworthy nor exemplary attitude,” added the Umno president in a media statement this afternoon.

Zahid, who was responding to the resignations of Umno MPs Mustapa Mohamed and Anifah Aman, also noted how Islam emphasised on loyalty when its laws have not been transgressed.

Expressing concern and regret over the development, he urged Umno members to remain calm and place their trust in the leadership to resolve the crisis.

Describing the resignations as inappropriate, Zahid pointed out that these leaders were elected based on the trust Umno had accorded to them to be fielded as candidates.

“Using the excuse of party weakness for a personal agenda is something which should not have been done,” he added.

Zahid, who hopes the resignations would not weaken Umno, said the party required loyalists to ensure its continued survival.

“Let only those loyal to the spirit of the struggle remain with Umno. With this, it would be easier to administer the party and ensure the smooth running of its plans.

“However, in this scenario, Umno takes the stand to accept and respect their decision (to quit). We wish them the best. Hopefully, the route they have chosen brings them satisfaction,” he added.

Zahid also pointed out that Umno would hold its annual general assembly at the end of the month, which would be the first in its 72-year history as an opposition party.

“I wish to state that after the 14th general election, various efforts were implemented to strengthen the members and people's faith in the idealism of Umno's struggle,” he added.

Ironically, Umno's six-decade-long hold on power came to an end at the hands of its longest-serving former president Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who crossed over to the then opposition and led Pakatan Harapan's charge in the May 9 polls.

Earlier, Malaysiakini reported that speculation is rife that more Umno MPs and assemblypersons would throw in the towel.

Malaysiakini also reported that former Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein, whose grandfather Onn Jaafar founded Umno and his late father Hussein Onn served as its president, met with Mahathir in Putrajaya yesterday.

This has raised questions as to Hishammuddin's position in Umno but the Sembrong MP has remained tight-lipped despite attempts to solicit his comments.

Meanwhile, Wanita Umno chief Noraini Ahmad urged members not to lose faith as the exodus does not mark the end of the party.

“There are still leaders who are committed, patient and strong in wanting to revive the party,” she added in a statement.


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