The sacking of three former Umno ministers has taken a new twist with two of them having received the boot from the party while the other is still under investigation.
- Action taken against veteran trio over their support for opposition parties and for being critical of Umno
- Rais not fazed, says Umno is already “a non-entity” because of the violation of article 10 of its constitution
Party secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the memberships of Tun Daim Zainuddin and Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz have been revoked.
“As for Tan Sri Rais Yatim, it is not clear if he has spoken up against the party.
“We need to establish if he has colluded with the Opposition to derail Barisan Nasional’s victory,” he told The Star on Saturday.
Tengku Adnan said this after meeting with a committee from the Umno headquarters that looked into the actions of the trio.
He clarified that investigations were still ongoing for Rais.
Earlier, he said letters were sent to the three senior politicians to strip them of their party membership.
The move against the trio which took effect on Friday was over their support for opposition parties as well as for being critical against Umno.
“As the party’s secretary-general, I will not tolerate such nonsense. I will take action. I don’t care who they are,” Tengku Adnan said.
Asked if the decision had the green light from party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Tengku Adnan said the clearance was sought “a long time ago and the president knows.”
“So I just went ahead. As the party’s sec-gen, I cannot see the party destroyed.”
He said they were sacked for campaigning for the Opposition, which is against the party’s constitution and code of ethics.
“They are aware of this and they know what is coming. I feel sad because we have been supporting them all the time before.
“We believe in the concept of walak (loyalty) which means you listen to your leader,” he added.
Tengku Adnan said Umno and Barisan Nasional have given them many opportunities.
“So how can you back-stab us?”
He said as Umno veterans they should have known that their party memberships could be revoked when they acted in such a manner.
“Probably, they wanted us to drop them as members so that they can resort to saying all kinds of things against Umno.
“However, remember that without Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN), they and the nation would not be what they are today. Do not be ungrateful,” he said.
When asked for his response and his next step to the action taken by Umno, Rais appeared jovial, saying he has not received any official word of the matter from the party, Malaysiakini reported.
“I am still mulling over the situation with an open mind. I haven’t received any show-cause letter or the termination of membership.
“But in my view, my legal assessment, Umno is already a non-entity, because of the violation of article 10 of its constitution.
“Although Umno lawyers will shout to the sky and say otherwise, it’s okay with me.
“What is material in my view is the lack of conviviality. Phone calls perhaps would have been in order, from one of those big prefects.
“None came, what can I do? They are big wigs, big guns, running the party and government. But as far as I can see, in (contravening) article 10, Umno is the non-entity, having violated that provision,” he was quoted saying.
Rais was referring to Umno’s failure to abide by its constitutional requirement to hold party elections by the stipulated extension deadline of April 19, after which critics say the party would automatically be considered illegal.
Following the fiasco, Umno leaders received a lifeline from the Registrar of Societies with a further extension, which has been panned an abuse of the registrar’s powers.
Rais said he would be spending more effort to help those who fight “kleptocracy”, possibly referring to Harapan.
“I am now free to express my views on a wider platform.
“I am focusing more on the problems faced by the system of rule of law in this country, and against the system of kleptocracy, which we have been talking about, and the transparencies of government and public affairs. I am very interested in these things.
“I would definitely lend support to any entity that goes along those lines for a reasonable future for Malaysia.
“I will go on the ceramah (circuit) in these few days, wherever I can be, I would lend support to these kinds of disposition,” he was quoted saying.
Related report: May 3, Veteran Trio May Be Sacked from Umno