Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi made his first offensive tonight, targeting caretaker Johor menteri besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin and his network of supporters.
Puad accused “Team Khaled” of not being loyal to Najib Abdul Razak, yet manoeuvring to fill their own people as BN candidates in Johor.
“Khaled has turned the Johor consensus (Muafakat Johor) into rubbish.Team Johor is actually Team Khaled.
In the end, the candidates’ selection was based on cronyism and preparations for the coming party election.
“His people, who have criticised Najib on WhatsApp groups, have all been retained as candidates. Some of them were even bold enough to have demanded Najib to resign (on WhatsApp),” he said in a statement tonight.
“Khaled changed the candidates’ list on his whim and did not base on merits. It was based on political support and rivalry in the party,” he said.
Puad said among the seats that saw such instances were the state constituencies of Penawar, Layang-Layang and Serom.
Puad accused Khaled of parachuting his supporters into these seats and sidelining local leaders who had worked the ground there.
“That is why I said the system (of candidates selection) has been damaged by the very people who claim it is good, to an extent that a candidate who has a photograph of laying with a woman that is not his wife, can become a candidate,” he said without naming names.
Puad, who was defeated in the parliamentary seat of Batu Pahat in the last general election, was not fielded for the May 9 general election.
He was instead replaced by Batu Pahat Umno Wanita chief Haliza Abdullah.
“I know many will condemn me for this latest posting. I will not respond to them. What is important is that I reveal what is in my heart. As I have said, I will fight to the last drop.
“I will remain strong and have become more emboldened by this test,” he said.
Puad’s statement on Facebook tonight was his first attack on a fellow Umno leader.
Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi has blamed the “cronysim” practised by the former Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin for the “shameful defeat” of BN in Johor.
Taking to Facebook today, he said Umno is celebrating its 72nd birthday today in the face of “tragic defeat”.
He said the defeat of several BN ministers, deputy ministers and even Khaled Nordin himself at both the Pasir Gudang parliamentary and Permas state seats was shocking.
“Of course the defeat will bring sadness,” he said.
“For me, Khaled should accept ‘all the mistakes made’ that had led to the shameful defeat, what more since Johor was the backbone of Umno,” he said.
“As what I previously said, Khaled had smeared the concept of ‘Muafakat Johor’ that is the pride of Johoreans.
“Our ‘Muafakat Johor’ has been turned into rubbish, to the point that it is mere rhetoric,” he said.
Puad blamed Khaledfor distributing the Johor seats to their cronies to contest.
“Many division leaders were not invited to negotiate in the candidates selection. Even though they are the leaders who had been chosen by the grassroots,” he said.
“They are the ones who had worked night and day to lead the divisions to face the election. Suddenly, they were sidelined, just like that,” he added.
“So what was the resulting disaster? Many (members) had cast protest votes (against their party),” he claimed.
Destroyed by ‘Umno tsunami’
He said Umno members had spoiled their votes, or stayed home to boycott the polls, “and worse of all, voted for the opposition”.
“That is what had happened in Johor. It’s no secret, when the BN machinery were speaking, they were only pretending to work (for the ruling party) but in their hearts, they voted for the opposition,” said Puad.
In the end, he said, to teach Khaled a lesson, what happened was a “tsunami that had the participation of Umno people themselves”.
He urged the party members to rise and be brave to choose leaders who are worthy, and “wipe out the warlord politics” in Umno.
If not, he warned, Umno will find it hard to ever rise again.