Disciplinary proceeding involving Hishammuddin Hussein abruptly “postponed” today as only supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam was present at the Umno headquarters.
Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali is quitting as the Umno disciplinary board chairman, barely a year after his appointment to the post.
“The leadership can keep their respective posts. I shall keep my dignity and integrity,” he told FMT in a text message.
Apandi has alleged interference in Sembrong MP Hishammuddin Hussein’s disciplinary hearing.
The hearing, which was to take place today, did not materialise.
“I did not order the postponement, there is something wrong here,” he was quoted as saying.
Following the postponement, Apandi announced his resignation as Umno disciplinary board chairperson.
“I have directed the secretary of the board to prepare my resignation letter as the chairperson and it will take effect immediately.
“I am not willing to be made a kuda tunganggan (lackey). My dignity is greater than the position,” he was quoted as saying.
He said he is currently overseas and will sign the resignation letter when he returns to Malaysia next week.
Apandi was formerly the attorney-general. He was removed following the fall of the BN government in the last general election. Umno subsequently appointed him into the leadership.
Hishammuddin was served a show-cause letter on Dec 13 and was required to appear before the disciplinary board.
This follows Hishammuddin’s alleged involvement in a gathering of Umno MPs at PKR deputy president, who is also Economic Affairs Minister, Mohamed Azmin Ali’s official residence on Nov 19.
Immediately after the gathering, Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam had accused Hishammuddin of rallying Umno MPs for Azmin.
But support for Hishammuddin came from party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who had said the meeting was to discuss the channelling of government projects to constituencies held by Umno.
Lokman also revealed that he had lodged a complaint against Hishammuddin on Oct 30 and urged the party to take action.
He had claimed Hishammuddin was responsible for orchestrating the defection of Umno MPs to Bersatu.
This was amid speculation that Hishammuddin and Azmin were working together to gather enough MPs to ensure Dr Mahathir Mohamad can stay on as prime minister and to thwart PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s rise.
Hishammuddin had denied the allegations against him.
Last week, FMT quoted an Umno insider as saying that secretary-general Annuar Musa had asked Apandi to withdraw the summons to Hishammuddin.
Lokman, who was present today and looked angry, told reporters at the PWTC lobby that this was not the first time the president or secretary-general had attempted to interfere in investigations into the former party vice-president’s actions.
“I am very disappointed because to me, Hishammuddin is a party traitor and should not be left alone.”
Lokman said the disciplinary board should be able to carry out investigations independently.
“No one should be protecting Hishammuddin.”
Lokman claimed that previous investigations against the former minister had also been halted on grounds that the complaints to the board were based on rumours.
“His plan to form a back-door government is not a rumour. It will happen, between the first and third month of next year,” Lokman said.
A fervent supporter of former president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Lokman said that it is important that Umno get rid of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s supporters which he alleged included Hishammuddin and other unnamed supreme council members.
He said he had done what he could by lodging the report and calling for Umno members to not vote for “Mahathir’s supporters”.
He, however, declined to name the individuals.
“I am sorry to say this but in MT (Umno supreme council) there are many leaders who side with Mahathir. What choice do I have as I am just an ordinary citizen and Umno member? I have lodged the report, so my responsibility is done now.
“It is up to the Umno members, but I have only one thing to say and that is when the party election comes, we have to sack everyone who sides with Mahathir,” he said.