Former Selangor Umno chief Noh Omar, who was recently sacked from the party, has defended himself from accusations of sabotage, saying Barisan Nasional's (BN) poor performance at the Nov 19 general election last year was due to a shift in support towards other Malay parties.
He said the shift was obvious in the seven states – Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Penang, Selangor, Perlis and Melaka – where BN failed to win even a single seat.
Speaking in an interview with Sinar Harian, he said this was proof that the claims against him before his sacking last week made no sense.
"Why talk about sabotage when this is now on the record as part of Umno's struggle: that not a single seat was won in seven states," he said.
Noh also asked why he had been blamed for BN's loss in Tanjong Karang given that the same situation had played out in the seat of Sabak Bernam, where the candidate had likewise been an Umno division chief.
"Did Abd Rahman Bakri lose because of sabotage? Where is the logic?" he added.
"In Bagan Datuk, the president won by a majority of just 340 votes. Did sabotage happen in Bagan Datuk as well?"
The general election last year saw BN marking its worst performance ever, winning just 30 seats, of which 26 were won by Umno.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi nevertheless refused to give way to calls for his resignation, unlike his predecessor Najib Razak who stepped down after BN's historic loss at the 2018 polls.
Noh was sacked from the party on Jan 27, alongside former Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, while others including Sembrong MP Hishammuddin Hussein had their memberships suspended for six years.
Speaking in the interview, he said Umno's loss at the last general election was due to the unexpected surge of support for Perikatan Nasional (PN).
"Who would have guessed?" he added. "Even I did not expect such an extraordinary performance from PN.
"So Umno should look ahead now instead of blaming people, sacking them left, right and centre and accusing them of sabotage and treachery.
"This is why I'm at peace now that I'm no longer in Umno."