More want Zahid to go
Published on: Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Credit: scmp.com
Kuala Lumpur: Calls for Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) to step down are getting louder with Umno’s Paya Besar division chief Datuk Ahmad Tajuddin Sulaiman being the latest.

Pontian Youth chief Helmi Buang, Seremban Youth chief Zool Amali Hussin and a few other Umno members earlier urged Ahmad Zahid to retire with dignity.

Ahmad pointed out that the conflict within Umno involving its Supreme Council members and Members of Parliament since 2018 has yet to subside, adding that there is still no solution to the problems.

“The directionless actions of the Supreme Council members and MPs are threatening Malay support for Umno, which we need to face the 15th general election.

“The unclear direction and weak determination are affecting the courage and fighting spirit of the 3.6 million Umno members,” he said in the statement.

Ahmad also highlighted the many court cases involving Umno leaders, including Ahmad Zahid himself, who is facing a total of 87 charges for corruption and abuse of power, among others.

This, Ahmad said, is causing a strain on Umno, as the party is now forced to carry the burden of leaders who are currently facing criminal charges.

“For the sake of the Malay race, Umno, loyalty and the determination of the 3.6 million party members, Ahmad Zahid ought to let go of his responsibilities as the Umno president,” Ahmad said.

In 2018, not long after taking over, Ahmad Zahid went on garden leave, leaving all of his responsibilities in both Umno and Barisan Nasional to his deputy president, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

This was after several Umno MPs left, citing loss of confidence in the “directionless” party under Zahid’s helm. However, about a year later, Zahid made a comeback and took back all his positions.

Other Umno top leaders with ongoing court cases include Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor who is appealing against a guilty verdict over a corruption charge recently, party secretary-general, Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, who is facing money laundering charges in connection with funds he allegedly received from Najib and Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor who is facing counts of corruption in connection with the supply and installation of solar energy panels in Sarawak rural schools.

On July 28, 2020, Najib was sentenced to 12 years’ jail by the Kuala Lumpur High Court which found him guilty of seven charges of CBT, money laundering and abuse of position involving RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds. He is appealing against his conviction.

Najib and his two sons were also sued by the Inland Revenue Board for not paying their taxes totalling RM1.7 billion. The amount owed by Najib is RM1.69 billion, Mohd Nazifuddin (RM37.6 million) and Mohamad Nizar (RM13.16 million).

It was reported that several state and division Umno Youth leaders had started demanding Zahid and others make way following revelations that he and the others had backed opposition leader and PKR president, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to topple the Perikatan Nasional government which Umno had supported following the collapse of Pakatan Harapan administration early last year.


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