A campaign to oust Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is gathering steam after word got out that the former deputy prime minister is trying to engineer a pact with ruling parties PKR and DAP.
Grassroots leaders The Malaysian Insight spoke to felt this showed Mr Zahid was bereft of ideas on how to lead Umno as an opposition party, an alien post until Barisan Nasional lost the 14th general election.
Although BN executive secretary Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad has denied that Mr Zahid sought an alliance with DAP and PKR, the leaked information has been enough to prompt Umno grassroots members to push for the Mr Zahid’s ouster.
Selangor Umno Youth grassroots leader Aemierulrizaki Rambli said he has started a campaign among the party’s branches nationwide to force Mr Zahid to resign.
Mr Aemierulrizaki said it was unacceptable that Mr Zahid was using a senior Umno leader, Nazri Abdul Aziz, to convince members to accept working with DAP and PKR – two rivals in GE14.
“The campaign has started on a small scale. We are meeting with branches and contacting our friends throughout the country to move the campaign,” said Mr Aemierulrizaki, who is from the Kuala Selangor division.
“If Zahid does not resign, we will force a no-confidence vote against him at the branch and division level.
“The people who find it hard to become opposition politicians are those at the top,” he added.
Since taking over the presidency, Mr Zahid has been unable to stem Umno’s bleeding as it continues to lose parliamentarians, assemblymen and members.
On Wednesday, half of its MPs and members in Sabah said they were leaving Umno.
The party has lost 11 MPs since the May elections and is now down to 43 parliamentary seats.
Sources told The Malaysian Insight that there is also a plot by another senior Umno leader to defect with another clutch of MPs to Bersatu, another Pakatan Harapan party led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Mr Zahid’s plan to tie up with PKR and DAP also includes supporting Anwar Ibrahim as the eighth prime minister when the latter succeeds Dr Mahathir, who has closed the door on Umno and wanted to deregister it.
Another Umno division chief admitted receiving strong protests from his rank-and-file against the idea of working with DAP – a Chinese dominated multiracial party that Umno sees as its antithesis.
The division leader said if he receives pressure from his members, he will be forced to call for an extraordinary general meeting to move a no-confidence motion against the president.
“Many of my members are very disappointed with the plan (to work with DAP and PKR). They are pushing me to do a no-confidence vote. I can only do this if a majority of branches want it,” said the division leader, who requested anonymity.
A Johor Umno leader, Tengku Putra Haron Aminurrashid Tengku Hamid Jumat, said some Supreme Council members realised that Mr Zahid needs to go.
“But these guys are not brave enough to say it out loud. If we cannot depend on the Supreme Council to look out for the party’s future, then we have to push the grassroots to replace these leaders,” said Tengku Haron, who is a former Kempas assemblyman.
“After Zahid took over, BN lost component parties in Sarawak and our parliamentarians left us. Now we hear that we are begging other parties to return to power.
“The longer he stays, the more people we lose. And Zahid is just allowing this to happen.” THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
Source : Today Online