Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam has hit out at party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for allegedly saying the party must work with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad because PAS is doing so.
Lokman expressed disappointment with Zahid and said Umno needed leaders who were prepared to fight to defend the people, and did not need people “willing to compromise with those in power.”
He said that Zahid, at an Umno meeting, had given four reasons why the party has to work with Mahathir. The meeting was about Muafakat Nasional, the party’s partnership with PAS. The Islamic party has openly supported Mahathir to remain as prime minister until the end of his term.
Lokman, known to be a loyal Najib supporter, said Zahid had stated that Umno should not be left behind by the PAS move, so that Umno could resolve the problems faced by former party president Najib Razak, and also to ensure the party would not be deregistered.
He disclosed that he had an audio recording lasting over 3 minutes, purportedly of Zahid speaking at the meeting.
He said Umno could learn and work with PAS in upholding Islam “but it doesn’t make sense for Umno to follow PAS in supporting a dictator and ditch a former Umno president who is being victimised by Mahathir”.
He accused Zahid (who faces trial on 87 criminal charges) of seeking negotiations with Mahathir “only to save himself and return to the Cabinet”.
Lokman claimed that Zahid has been offered lower sentences on 33 of the charges he faces, including reduced jail terms.
“Bossku (Najib) has never appointed Zahid to negotiate his court cases, in fact Bossku asked Umno not to get involved because he is confident on being on the right side of the law and can prove so in court,” Lokman said, using the term Bossku popularised by Najib during his meet-the-people tours.
Lokman said that Zahid should step down if all that he could do was to bow down and work with Mahathir in order to prevent the party from being deregistered and having its accounts frozen.
Lokman said deregistration of Umno would enable Zahid’s supporters and those supporting former vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein to join Mahathir.
If so, then it was likely that 90% of Umno supporters would follow Najib in taking over other parties, Lokman said. “Don’t hope that grassroots members will follow Mahathir or anyone who can be used by him.”
He added any effort to form a “backdoor” government through the merger of any parties before the 15th general election must get the approval of the grassroots through an extraordinary general meeting.
“Zahid’s actions are clearly a breach of party discipline and he is sidelining the voices of Umno grassroots,” Lokman said.
Source : FMT