Umno Youth urged scandal-tainted party leaders to honourably step down.
Its chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said that they are willing to work with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the National Integrity and Good Governance Department among others to improve all aspects of Umno.
“Today, Umno Youth wish to remind all Umno leaders at all levels that whoever feels himself having deviated in any way, resign with honour.
“Do not treat the party as a shield of one’s evil. Do not drag the party down with one’s personal wrongdoing,” he said.
He was speaking during his opening address at the Umno General Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre here.
Asyraf said independent studies showed that a party leader’s link to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal was among factors behind voters’ rejection of Umno and the Barisan Nasional coalition in the 14th General Election (GE14)
Umno leaders and members, he said, could no longer keep their eyes, ears and mouth shut over any wrongdoing by their party colleagues.
He reiterated that they need to take these pro-active measures as Umno’s “Islam and the Malays” narrative remain attractive in spite of a few bad apples within the party who are involved in corruption and other negative acts.
“After this, Umno Youth need to be bold in criticising and reprimand anyone from among leaders to ensure we are always on the right path and do not betray the people,” he said.
Umno Youth Chief Wants Zahid To Take Leave And Rest Until Court Cases Settled
Umno Youth has requested party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to go on leave until his court cases are settled.
“WE ARE REQUESTING HIM TO TAKE LEAVE AND REST, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE SAYING HE IS GUILTY OR THAT HE MUST LET GO OF HIS POST AS PARTY PRESIDENT.
“Our principle is that as long as he has not been found guilty, it is not fair of us to ask him to step down,” said the movement’s chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.
Last Friday, Zahid claimed trial to 45 charges of money laundering involving RM72 million and criminal breach of trust and accepting bribes involving RM42 million.
Asyraf said it would be unfair for Zahid to be burdened with the many duties as party president while facing court cases in the current political situation.
“Umno Youth sympathises with Dr Ahmad Zahid and is saddened with the many charges being levelled against our president.
“We want him to be given a just trial in the court and not a trial by media. However, it seems he has already been sentenced before he has been put on trial.
“We want the rule of ‘presumption of innocence’ and rule of law to be applied,” said Asyraf.
He said Umno Youth would convey this request to Zahid himself during their retreat with him this weekend.
On whether Zahid can issue statements as Umno president while on leave, Asyraf said it had yet to be decided.
“We will leave it to the party’s supreme council to decide if anyone should take Dr Ahmad Zahid’s place should the president decide to go on leave,” he said.
Noh Omar Supports Umno Youth’s Call for Zahid to Go on Leave
Voicing his agreement with the call made by Umno Youth, Umno Supreme Council member Noh Omar said this was in line with the party’s convention that if any leaders/members are charged, they should take leave to focus on their trial until it is over.
“IF WE LOOK AT UMNO’S CONVENTION, ITS CULTURE AND PRACTICE, WHAT UMNO YOUTH HAS SAID IS TRUE.