Umno men say critical former leaders can ‘bark till the cows come home’


(Malay Mail Online) – Umno need not deign to take action against former leaders now critical of the party as their denunciation carried no weight and could do no harm, said senior party members.

Responding to questions on renewed censure against Umno by leaders such as former Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Umno Supreme Council members said both the critics and their criticism were no longer of relevance.

“The issues (that they harp on) are recycled ones, which have been resolved. They are people who hold no important posts and not influential amongst party and the rakyat.

“They are also frustrated irrelevant ex-politicians and I think we should just let them be and not overrate their influence,” Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (pic) told Malay Mail Online.

Rafidah and Mukhriz have become more outspoken in the days up to and following the latter’s unexpected ouster as Kedah mentri besar, which was seen as reprisal for his father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s vociferous attacks against the Umno leadership.

Mukhriz made good on his vow to speak out against the Umno leadership following his removal, while Rafidah continued her veiled attacks against the party and drew an unusual public rebuke from her successor, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

But rather than punishing such dissenters, Nazri said the best option was to simply ignore them.

“They can bark until the cows come home… nothing will happen; ignore them,” the tourism and culture minister said.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun, meanwhile, urged those with grievances against the party to express them through the right channels and not via the media.

The Umno deputy women chief said those who love the party would do so to avoid from tarnishing Umno’s name.

“Every party member who loves the party and put party above themselves will somehow find an inner strength to refrain from hurting the party.

“So to them I say, respectfully, it’s time to move on, strengthen the party, work together with the president who is also the PM, to take care of Malaysia and its people,” she said.

Another Umno supreme council member, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, said that it may be necessary to take punitive action against such leaders for being excessive in their criticism of the party.

The urban wellbeing, housing and local government minister said there were boundaries in the party that should not be crossed, adding that members and leaders who crossed these should be punished.

“Tun M, Mukhriz and Rafidah should know their limits because the party will not hesitate to take stern action in the future if they are found to have gone off limits,” he said.

The Kota Belud MP said, however, there was no need for such action at the moment, stressing that the three were not yet excessive in their disapproval of Umno.

In recent posts, the outspoken Rafidah told fellow Umno members that there were already cracks in the party and continued unhappiness shared by Malaysians over recent controversies plaguing the administration.

She told members to “get real”, “stop being in denial” and playing factional politics, and to stop behaving like “ostriches” with their heads buried in the sand.

Dr Mahathir continues to wage a campaign against Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over 1Malaysia Development Sdn Bhd (1MDB) and the RM2.6 billion donation deposited in the latter’s accounts in 2013.

Mukhriz last week pleaded with the Conference of Rulers to demand direct reports from agencies investigating 1MDB, saying that Their Majesties instructions last year for investigations to be expedited had been ignored.