Apandi quits as Umno disciplinary chief after Hishammuddin’s hearing postponed by party

(MMO) – Tan Sri Apandi Ali has confirmed that he is resigning from his post as Umno disciplinary board chairman, claiming interference over a hearing against former vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today.

The former attorney general told Malay Mail that he does not want to be blamed for today’s events or be manipulated for the benefit of others.

“As a result of this development, I have directed the secretary of the [disciplinary] board to prepare my resignation letter as the chairman and it will take effect immediately.

“I am not willing to be made kuda tunggangan. My dignity is greater than the position,” he told Malay Mail in a text message, using the Malay idiom which roughly means a pawn or puppet.

Apandi lamented the sudden postponement of the disciplinary proceeding which should have taken place today after supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam lodged a report over Hishammuddin’s purported clandestine November meeting between Umno MPs and PKR’s deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

He said he is currently overseas and will sign the resignation letter when he returns to Malaysia next week.

“I did not order the postponement [of the hearing]. There is something wrong here,” he told Malay Mail, but did not name who made the decision.

Earlier today, Lokman accused President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa of trying the sweep the case under the carpet and undermining the party’s disciplinary board that had the right to investigate the case during the Umno’s annual general meeting (AGM) earlier this month.

On December 13, the Umno disciplinary board served a show-cause letter on Hishammuddin for breaching the party constitution and its code of ethics following complaints lodged against the former federal minister.

The letter also ordered Hishammuddin to present himself before the board at 2pm today for it to hear his appeal.

The letter, sighted by Malay Mail, detailed how complaints had been made against Hishammuddin, where an investigating panel was formed and later found grounds to support the allegations of him breaching the party’s regulations.

It said the offences that were found to have been breached were those stipulated under Articles 20.8(b), (c) and (f) of the Umno constitution, pertaining to disobeying party instructions, as well as failing to adhere to party policies and to protect the reputation and dignity of the party.

Members found guilty of such offences could face punishments that range from a warning to being sacked from the party, along with being stripped of their membership rights and being barred from participating in party elections.