Umno Youth chief admits Umno is corrupt

Despite calling for party “cleansing” and “transformation”, Asyraf made no mention of the corruption charges levelled against his president and other party leaders in his speech.

(MMO) – Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki pitched “transformation” and “cleansing” in his opening speech of the wing’s 2021 Annual General Assembly today, saying the party must regain a strong mandate to stem the political scheming that has caused instability in the last few years.

In an impassioned speech delivered before dozens of delegations, Asyraf accused some party leaders of greed and betrayal, calling them traitors who served for “projects” and wealth at the expense of Umno’s struggle to help the Malays, a likely reference to those who either collaborated with rivals Parti Bersatu Pribumi Malaysia or defectors.

The Umno youth chief said his wing has long opposed aligning with the splinter group to form “a backdoor government” even when several of the party’s top leaders were keen to govern alongside leaders he claimed are notorious for being disloyal.

The wing wanted a fresh mandate and had pushed for a snap election instead, Asyraf stressed.

“In the last four years since the fall of the Barisan Nasional government, the Malaysian political landscape has been unstable. Malaysia has made history by having three prime ministers and three governments,” the Umno leader said.

“All this began because of betrayal of the people’s mandate to the point that the principle of democracy had been and continues to be perverted.”

Umno now leads a coalition government led by its vice president, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who became prime minister after a coup fuelled by the pullout of several party MPs forced Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to step down.

Despite holding power, the mainstream faction in Umno led by party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Zahid’s predecessor, have been pushing for early elections.

Zahid is set to use the 2021 annual general assembly to pressure Ismail Sabri to dissolve Parliament to pave the way for the 15th national polls, which he is said to be keen to hold this year, ostensibly with the hope that a strong Umno-led government could influence the outcome of their corruption trials.

Despite calling for party “cleansing” and “transformation”, Asyraf made no mention of the corruption charges levelled against his president and other party leaders in his speech.

Instead, the Umno Youth chief claimed Umno is pushing for early elections because it wants to uphold the democratic rights of voters to choose who should govern, and ultimately stability.

He accused certain leaders of the present administration of abusing democratic institutions to remain in power, such as the Attorney General’s Chambers to enforce political persecutions as part of “vindictive politics” favoured by Umno rivals.

“Vindictive politics that targets political rivals has become a phenomenon that is almost normal, a reality everytime there is a change in government,” the Umno Youth chief said.

“The judiciary system is toyed with so casually, to the point that the institution of the attorney general is easily manipulated by the powerful. Political allies are freed from charges, cases that are being tried can be withdrawn just like that, yet their rivals are pressured,” he added.

It is unclear if Asyraf’s criticism against the AGC is a reference to the ongoing trials involving Najib and Zahid.

Asyraf said the Umno Youth wing will push the AGM to pass three resolutions — to separate and make the AGC independent of the prime minister’s office, to table and enact a law that bans “party-hopping” and regulates political donations through a political funding act.

The Umno Youth chief had also called for a thorough “rejuvenation” of the party, saying it was the only way it could draw support from first time voters who will cast their ballot for the first time in the next general election.

He did not state if the rejuvenation process should entail revamping the leadership or removing those perceived to be corrupt.

The main congress, to start tomorrow and conclude on Saturday, will likely make the general election its top agenda.

Zahid had told reporters that the demand for a new “public mandate” was clearly outlined in the opening speeches by all heads of all three party wings, which Umno’s supreme council will deliberate tonight.