Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has called for a purge of Umno leaders who put the interest of other political parties above their own, in a sign of growing discomfort within party ranks over a revelation that its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had unilaterally backed Anwar Ibrahim’s plan to become the prime minister.
Razaleigh, Umno’s elderly adviser who still commands respect among the grassroots, said no leaders including those at the top echelon were immune to disciplinary action.
“To me, as echoed by the Umno grassroot members, the behaviour of these Umno leaders amounts to a disrespect of Umno’s struggle,” the Gua Musang MP, the longest serving Umno elected representative, told Astro Awani.
“(They) prioritise the leaders of other parties, why is that so? This is their true colour, action should be taken against them, to the point of expelling them if they do not fight for the party’s interest.”
His comments come ahead of a meeting by the Umno Supreme Council tomorrow to discuss the recent revelation involving Zahid.
On Friday, MalaysiaNow reported that Zahid, the Umno president, and his predecessor Najib Razak had written to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong expressing support for Anwar in the PKR leader’s plan to topple Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional government, of which Umno is a part.
In their joint letter, the duo also claimed that “a number of Umno MPs” would back them, without providing specific names.
Earlier today, MalaysiaNow quoted a source in Umno as saying that the revelation had further worsened factionalism in Umno, with Zahid leading one faction demanding more senior Cabinet posts for Umno including that of the deputy prime minister.
“There are worries that any backdoor negotiations by leaders embroiled in corruption cases could lead to Umno losing everything they currently have,” the source added.