The Umno disciplinary board has served a show-cause letter to Semberong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for breaching party constitution and its code of ethics following complaints lodged against the former federal minister.
The letter dated December 13, bearing the signature of disciplinary board Chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, also ordered that Hishamuddin be present for a hearing before the board at 2pm on December 26 for them to listen to his appeal.
The letter, sighted by Malay Mail, detailed how complaints had been made against Hishammuddin, where an Investigating Panel was formed and later found grounds to support the allegations of him breaching the party’s regulations.
It said the offences that were found to have been breached were those stipulated under Articles 20.8(b),(c), and (f) of the Umno Constitution, pertaining to disobeying party instructions, failing to adhere to party policies and to protect the reputation and dignity of the party.
Members found guilty of such offences could face punishments that range from a warning to being sacked from the party, along with having their membership rights stripped and being barred from participating in party elections.
“If Datuk Seri pleads not guilty towards the accusations, Datuk Seri is required to give a written statement and attend the proceeding, accompanied by evidence, documents or witnesses for your defence,” read the letter.
It also stated how proceedings would carry on as scheduled if Hishammuddin were to be absent and that a decision would be made whether or not he is present.
The letter also said that Hishammuddin is required to confirm his attendance with the board’s secretariat before the scheduled hearing date.
Apandi has since confirmed to Malay Mail that the disciplinary board has summoned Hishammuddin but declined to say why.
However, when asked, several party leaders, including Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, told Malay Mail they were unaware over such a letter being issued, saying the board is independent and would only recommend its findings to the party once investigations have completed.
This comes as several party leaders have been critical against Hishammuddin who they alleged had persuaded several Umno MPs to jump over to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia
Among those vocal over his conduct include Umno Supreme Council Member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, who had lodged a complaint with the party’s disciplinary board after Hishammuddin was reported to have been part of a clandestine November meeting between Umno MPs and PKR’s deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
Lokman had urged for stern disciplinary be taken against Hishammuddin for allegedly trying to sway Umno leaders to declare support for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Azmin, who is the Economic Affairs Minister.
Azmin had denied such topics were discussed during the meeting, saying it was a regular meet to discuss projects within the respective MP’s constituencies.
Hishammuddin has also recently been accused of being part of a supposed plot to form a new ‘backdoor’ government, but the former defence minister has since denied all accusations linking him to such a movement. – MMO