Umno has come under fire on social media after its announcement last night that former youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has been sacked.
The party's decision, made at a meeting of its Supreme Council, came amid questions about Umno's relevance ahead of the six state elections to be held this year.
Many internet users described Umno's move to sack Khairy as akin to digging its own grave.
"Umno, this is suicide!" political observer Wong Chin Huat said.
"Umno has already entered its grave even before the state elections," Facebook user Muhammad Ayie added in Astro Awani's comment section.
There were also some who pointed the finger at Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, saying he had acted hastily in making the call.
"The Umno presidency isn't even open to contest, and KJ has been kicked out just like that," Fai Zal said on Twitter.
"Zahid is willing to fire even KJ. Umno has really lost its way. The people need to reject it," Shahril Uni said.
The Supreme Council meeting last night, chaired by Zahid, also decided to give veteran leader Noh Omar the boot, and suspended the memberships of several others – Sembrong MP Hishammuddin Hussein, former information chief Shahril Hamdan, former Jempol MP Salim Mohd Sharif, and Tebrau division chief Maulizan Bujang – for six years.
Khairy, who had long been vocal against Zahid, was transferred out of his Rembau seat at the recent general election in order to make way for Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan.
He was instead named as Barisan Nasional's candidate in Sungai Buloh, where he openly declared his intention to one day become the Umno president and prime minister.
Khairy, who eventually lost the race for the seat, last stood against Zahid for the Umno presidency in 2018, emerging second in a three-way race which also involved party veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
During his campaign for the November election, Khairy called himself an "Umno reformist", saying the party had gone astray and needed to be "fixed".
Social media users on Facebook and Twitter also rallied behind him after Umno's decision last night, urging him to continue with his political career.
The former health minister had responded to news of his sacking on Twitter, saying: "Unbowed, unbent, unbroken."
His post received thousands of comments, with Azaidar Ahmad saying: "Stay strong, KJ. We remain loyal together."
"Many are behind you, continue the fight," added Mohd Rusyidin Amin.
Others urged Khairy not to give up on his ambition of becoming the prime minister one day.
"PM 10, Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin Yassin also became prime minister after being sacked from Umno," said Nur Laila.