Not your father’s party, Shahidan tells Lokman.
Umno supreme council member Lokman Adam has urged for a party election to be held so members can choose to cooperate with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad or to oppose him.
Lokman claimed that certain parties are negotiating with Umno’s enemies for Umno and Bersatu to join forces, and worse still, the party disciplinary board’s investigations was put to a halt by the party leadership.
“If it is true that some Umno leaders and former leaders are more comfortable with the ‘if we can’t defeat them, we join them’ approach, let the members decide if they prefer Hishammuddin Hussein’s approach, or if they prefer the ‘no retreat, no surrender’ approach.
“Rather than holding an extraordinary general meeting for members to decide the way forward, I urge for an Umno election to be held before the merger is expected to happen in May 2020,” he said in a statement.
Previously, Sembrong MP Hishammuddin was accused of plotting for Umno elected representatives to join Bersatu.
The speculation intensified after 21 BN parliamentarians, including Hishammuddin, held a meeting on Nov 18 with Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Azmin and Hishammuddin were said to be involved in rallying MPs to support Mahathir and prevent PKR president Anwar Ibrahim (below, right) from becoming Mahathir’s successor.
Hishammuddin, however, had dismissed the allegations.
On Dec 13, Hishammuddin was issued a show-cause letter and was summoned to explain the meeting with Azmin to the Umno disciplinary committee.
Lokman had claimed the purpose of the meeting was to rally Umno MPs to support Azmin, and he revealed that he was the one who had filed a complaint against Hishammuddin on Oct 30 to urge the party to act.
He also claimed that Hishammuddin’s negotiations had received the approval of certain members of the Umno leadership who are currently being trialled in court.
Meanwhile, Perlis Umno leader Shahidan Kassim has taken Lokman to task over the latter’s claim that Hishammuddin is colluding with PPBM amid talk of a “backdoor government” formed through a realignment of political forces.
Shahidan told FMT that Lokman was attempting to create friction within Umno by insisting that disciplinary action be taken against Hishammuddin.
“Action should be taken against Lokman, not Hishammuddin, for creating problems and disunity within the party,” he added.
He also accused Lokman of questioning Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s decision to dismiss the allegations.
Shahidan also rubbished Lokman’s suggestion that Hishammuddin had been involved in arranging the meeting.
“He did not organise the meeting. Someone else is involved. He (Lokman) is picking the wrong target,” he said.
He added that the meeting was unrelated to Umno, saying it was to discuss “issues related to (the MPs’) constituencies”.
He likewise questioned Lokman’s motive for investigating a video clip leaked in June, implicating Azmin in a same-sex scandal.
“On whose orders did he carry out the probe, whose directive? Umno did not give any instruction to probe the video. Why did he use Umno’s name?” he said, referring to reports that Lokman had submitted to the police a forensic report on the video from a Birmingham-based company.
Shahidan also claimed that Lokman had not been meeting with Umno MPs.
“And now, suddenly, he wants action to be taken against some Umno MPs.
“Lokman must remember that Umno does not belong to his father. It belongs to all Malays. And if there are issues, everyone must follow the rules and regulations of the party,” he said.