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Zahid slams Umno deserters as opportunists

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In a Facebook live interview with Umno Online today, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said those in the party can be divided into two categories.

They were those who quit Umno when the party was facing a testing period and were only in the party for positions and benefits compared to “true blue” members who stayed as they believed in the party's struggle.

"The categories are 'Orang Umno' (an Umno person), and 'Ahli Umno' (Umno member). The 'Orang Umno' will never leave the party no matter what but the latter will leave according to the positions and benefits accorded to them," he said, stopping short of mentioning names.

Zahid had recently chided Jeli MP Mustapa Mohamed and Kimanis MP Anifah Aman for quitting Umno.

Zahid said such politicians had no durability.

"Last time, they had positions, funding et cetera. Now, after (Umno's) loss, they don't talk about their own weaknesses but they blame the party leadership.

"You see the government now (Pakatan Harapan), they (some of the component parties) were the opposition for 20 years and now they are in power. Umno is now the government-in-waiting, and it's only been four months (since its electoral defeat), why give up so fast?

"When they had the position, some vowed to stay (in Umno) until the last drop of blood. But now, there is no bloodshed but they have fled," he said.

Zahid said his leadership of Umno now was based on a collective approach with other leaders from all tiers of the party.

"My approach is to give an opportunity to other leaders to voice their opinions. If that is taken as a weakness, then I accept that. It is a tactical move.

"If I take the autocratic approach, it will be unfair (to the other leaders). We must recognise their roles. And Umno now only focuses on handling important issues, such as the move to boycott the Port Dickson by-election," he noted.

Zahid also shot down allegations that Umno was racist, questioning why Bersatu, which is in the same mould as the former, and the Chinese-majority DAP, were not branded the same.

"In the last 61 years, Umno, as the anchor party of BN, has fought for all races. When we fight for the constitution, the Malay language, the Malay race and the Malay rulers, is that considered racist?" he asked.

Zahid stressed that Umno now had to now focus on moving forward, in order to regain the people's trust.

"The focus will also have to be on addressing the widespread hatred towards the party among the rakyat. I will outline the way forward in my speech at the Umno general assembly," he said.

The general assembly takes places for two days beginning Saturday.

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