It is within the Umno president’s right to remove any appointed members from their position in the party’s Supreme Council, said Shahidan Kassim.
The Arau MP said this being the case, he did not have any issue with his removal from the party’s highest decision-making body by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“I have no problem with this. However, I have not been officially notified about my removal. I only learnt of it from media reports,” Shahidan told a press conference last night.
“I am trying to contact the party secretary-general (Ahmad Maslan) about my removal (as Perlis liaison chief). This is not a problem.
“It is within his (Zahid’s) right to replace anyone he wants to.”
Earlier, Zahid, in a statement, announced that Shahidan has been replaced as Perlis Umno liaison committee chairman by Menteri Besar Azlan Man.
However, he did not give any reason as to why Shahidan, who has been vocal in his criticism of the Umno leadership, was removed.
“We would like to thank Shahidan for his contributions,” the statement read.
As a result of being dropped, Shahidan will not be able to attend the party’s Supreme Council meeting today, which is due to discuss if its party election is to be held in June or postponed to a later date.
Shahidan said he had arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Perlis to attend the Supreme Council meeting.
He vowed to continue fighting for Umno’s success in Perlis at the next general election, saying that he had successfully led the party and Barisan Nasional (BN) to victory in the state in the last election.
He said BN had a two-thirds majority in the Perlis assembly when it won 10 of the 15 seats it contested and retained two of the three parliamentary seats.
“I am a staunch supporter of the president, but if I am no longer trusted by him … never mind,” he said.
Umno, during its annual general assembly last month, had agreed to let the party’s supreme council decide on its ties with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and exit the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
It was reported that Shahidan had said that the party would continue working with Pas and Bersatu.
His remarks, he said, had represented the stand of Umno Perlis. This however had contradicted the stand of Kangar Umno division’s decision to fully support the party leadership position.
The apparent cracks in Shahidan and Zahid’s relationship was further deepened after a leaked audio conversation, allegedly of Zahid and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
In the audio conversation, both individuals had discussed Zahid’s speech during the recent Umno general assembly, and also discussed the need to hold an emergency meeting to outline an exit plan from the PN government.
Zahid had also touched on Shahidan’s speech during the assembly and said that the latter was jeered at several times for speaking out against the party’s motion to cut ties with PN.
Both Zahid and Anwar had strongly denied knowledge of the audio clip. Shahidan had urged the Umno disciplinary board to take action against the president if the audio clip was found to be authentic.
Shahidan was appointed chairman of Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia when PN formed the government early last year.
He has been seen as a PN supporter in Umno, together with several leaders such as Annuar Musa and Hishammuddin Hussein.