Umno leaders in Negri Sembilan are reportedly defying their party by campaigning for former division chief Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad, who is running as an independent in the upcoming by-election.
According to The Malaysian Insight, the local party leaders said they wanted to repay Isa for his past service to them when he was the state’s mentri besar from 1982 to 2004.
The report asserted that nearly half of Umno’s 53 branches in Negri Sembilan will campaign for Isa.
“If Umno wants to take disciplinary action against us, by all means.
“It’s just not right that we, who have already received so much, would leave Isa on his own,” an unnamed branch chief was quoted as saying.
“Tonight, we are ‘taking off’ our Umno shirt,” said another.
“No Umno tonight. We are free to help our candidate, the independent candidate. When Umno boycotted the election, it means we are free (to help Isa),” he added.
Another branch leader not named in the report stated: “Out of the 53 Umno branch chiefs in Port Dickson, between 23 to 25 are die-hard Isa supporters.
“Another 12 to 13 are still dithering, undecided and confused. But they are not against Isa contesting.”
Isa’s son, 40-year-old Port Dickson Umno Youth chief Mohd Najib, is among those openly backing his campaign.