Since Barisan Nasional (BN) government lost in the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9, many strong leaders from the United Malay National Organization (UMNO), the strongest, dominant party in the coalition, have quitted the nationalist party.
BN government that ruled Malaysia for 61 years since its independence in 1957 has been ousted by the then opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, in the general election.
Some UMNO defectors blame 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal as the main cause of the downfall of the party. Some blame UMNO President Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who has been charged with 46 criminal offences related to corruption, bribery and abuse of power, to be the cause of UMNO current crisis.
And there are many other members who blame the crisis in the party was also due to former President of UMNO, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who has been charged with more than 50 criminal counts involving abuse of power, corruption and money laundering.
Most Malaysians have voted UMNO out in the GE14 as they lost confidence and trust in its leaders since the revelation of 1MDB corruption scandal in late 2015.
Many former leaders who quitted UMNO have sought or are seeking entry to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), one of the emerging strong Malay political parties chaired by the Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir.
Meanwhile Dr. Mahathir and other Pakatan Harapan Leaders have agreed to accept UMNO defectors as long as they are clean and have no criminal charges – a move which the public and many other lawmakers do not agree upon.
Recently, there have been calls for Zahid to step down, particularly from the party’s youth wing and former youth chief, Khairy Jamaluddin.
“Step aside, sir. It’s time,” Khairy tweeted yesterday.
Members started to call Zahid to step down after an exodus of 16 MPs with the most recent being from Sabah that abandoned the ship.
Meanwhile, Zahid rejects and ignores the calls for him to step down as UMNO President.
Zahid, who is facing multiple criminal charges in court, said he would “only abide by party’s constitution” in response to calls for him to quit.
“It should not be based on calls or be pressured by individuals,” he said,
Yesterday, Former Melaka Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik was the recent one to quit UMNO with the hope to join Bersatu. He also submitted his application form, along with about 100 other forms, to join PPBM.
“I am sad to leave UMNO after having struggled for over 40 years to champion the Malays. I quit the party because Bersatu can champion the Malays better, more efficiently and more effectively.
“The mistake of UMNO leaders in sowing the culture of corruption has become a cancer that has eaten through the roots of UMNO, leading to its fall,” he said at the submission of the forms to Bersatu,” he was quoted as saying by local media.
Many UMNO leaders who were Member of Parliaments (MPs) have already joined Bersatu, among them are Jeli MP Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Bagan Serai MP Datuk Noor Azmi Ghazali, and Masjid Tanah MP Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin. Meanwhile for Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli, he left UMNO to join Parti Warisan Sabah.
Recently the six MPs who left UMNO were Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Larut); Datuk Dr. Latiff Ahmad (Mersing); Datuk Rosol Wahid (Hulu Terengganu); Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah); Datuk Mohd. Fasiah Mohd. Fakeh (Sabak Bernam) and Datuk Shahbudin Yahya (Tasek Gelugor). These politicians were reported to remain as Independent MPs.
With that number of UMNO MPs leaving the party, there are now 37 lawmakers left in Dewan Rakyat.
Alongside with that there was an exodus from Sabah UMNO comprising nine of its 10 assemblymen, five of its six MPs and 21 of its 25 division chiefs left the party. –Malaysia World News