The writing is on the wall for Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s career in Umno despite his insistence that the six-year suspension imposed last week is not a “death sentence”, says an analyst.
It is the second time he has faced drastic action. In 1995, he was expelled for allegedly paying RM6 million to secure the position of Pasir Salak division chief.
He was brought back to the party in 1998 and subsequently moved up the hierarchy, until his appointment as a member of the Umno Supreme Council. However, in June his appointment was revoked.
Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said Tajuddin’s current six-year suspension was likely to be his last act in Umno politics, as it was clear Umno had no intention of fielding him at the next general election (GE15).
“It was the right move for Umno,” Azmi told FMT on Tajuddin’s suspension. The reason for the suspension has not been disclosed.
“His suspension means he will likely be dropped as a candidate in GE15,” Azmi said. Tajuddin, 74, has been MP for Pasir Salak for three terms.
“I think it is time for Umno to move beyond controversial and ineffective MPs. There are many MPs who think they are invincible and beyond reproach because they have been protected by the party for so long. That era is over.”
Azmi said politics has changed and voters were ready to dump even “warlords” who did not perform.
Tajuddin, who has been critical of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, has downplayed his suspension and said he remains loyal to the party.
However, Azmi said Tajuddin was unpopular not only among Umno grassroots but also among the public at large for his antics, as shown by a wave of criticism for his behaviour at a press conference last year when two LRT trains crashed in Kuala Lumpur.
Tajuddin was accused of being rude and insensitive to the plight of LRT passengers and was subsequently sacked as chairman of Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, the rail operator.
He has also sparked criticism for his outbursts in the Dewan Rakyat and his use of crude language during debates. – FMT