Dissatisfaction among Umno grassroots leaders against party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi appears to be slowly emerging, with two Youth leaders from Johor and Negeri Sembilan calling for his resignation.
Seremban Umno Youth chief Zool Amali Hussin today said he supported the views of his counterpart from Pontian urging Zahid to step down from the top party post.
But he said critics of the president were not airing their views out of anger for Zahid.
“This is not a movement to topple the president but a voice of dissatisfaction out of love for Umno,” Zool Amali told MalaysiaNow, a day after Pontian Umno Youth chief Helmi Buang called for Zahid’s resignation.
He said he would not be surprised if more leaders including from the central Youth leadership speak up against the top Umno leader.
Zool Amali also said talk of making Umno more appealing to the younger generation was only rhetoric.
He slammed some Umno leaders as power hungry, adding that they had distanced themselves from the youth’s aspirations.
“That is a sign that at the 15th general election, the 18-year-old voters will not choose Umno.”
Earlier in a Facebook video, he appeared to take a potshot at Zahid’s support for PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim’s plan to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government last October.
“When the youth voice out, the veterans cannot accept it although we are speaking up for truth. We speak up but we have never sat together with the opposition leader,” he had said, as quoted by Utusan Malaysia.
In October, MalaysiaNow revealed the contents of a letter to the palace jointly written by Zahid and former party chief Najib Razak, expressing support for Anwar’s bid to become the prime minister through the defection of MPs.
This is not the first time Zahid is facing rebellion from the party’s Youth and state leaders.
In 2018, Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki urged Zahid to take leave from his post, following multiple corruption charges against the former deputy prime minister.
December 2018 meanwhile saw an exodus of Umno leaders in Sabah which the state youth wing blamed on Zahid.
That same month, Zahid announced that he was temporarily handing over his duties as president to his deputy Mohamad Hasan. He returned to the post some six months later.
Fazreen Kamal contributed to this report.