UMNO May Restart Delayed Putsch of Disloyal Chieftains
(Asia Sentinel) – Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, apparently believing he has solidified his party base in the midst of twin massive scandals, appears likely soon to sack several rebellious United Malays National Organization officials.
The sackings, said to have been demanded by Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, were rumored in advance of a party supreme council conclave in early September, but for reasons that are unclear, they were put off. UMNO Secretary General Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, however, told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 28 that seven UMNO members are being investigated by the party’s disciplinary committee. It appears they are likely face ouster.
Tengku Adnan didn’t name the seven. But names published earlier by Asia Sentinel include former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who kept his job as party deputy president despite being kicked out of the cabinet after he questioned how US$681 million ended up in the Prime Minister’s bank account in March of 2013.
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Najib’s fiercest critic, is also expected to be on the list along with his son, Kedah Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir. Mahathir could also well be charged in court for comments he made during a rally for the Bersih clean government NGO on Aug. 29 in which he accused Najib of bribing members of the Dewan Rakyat, or parliament, to keep them in line. Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who replaced Muhyiddin as deputy premier, said two complaints had been lodged against Mahathir and had been referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor for review.
“There are seven people,” said Tengku Adnan. “I would not like to name the seven people. But I think the seven people know who they are and then maybe you people (reporters) will also know who they are,” Tengku Adnan told reporters at Parliament House. “After the technical committee has given their findings we will table it at the presidential council. If the council gives its approval, they will bring the matter to the disciplinary committee. Once that process goes, we will suspend their membership and suspend whatever position they are holding.”
Others whose names have been mentioned previously are Vice-president Mohd Shafie Apdal, who was fired from the cabinet earlier; MPs Aziz Sheikh Fadzir and Jumat Idris and former Terengganu chief minister Ahmad Said and Anina Saadudin, a Langkawi women’s wing delegate who caused a storm with an impassioned rant saying the prime minister was urinating on the heads of the 3 million party rank and file. Rafidah Aziz, a close Mahathir ally, has also been deeply critical of Najib in recent weeks.