Accused of sabotage, Umno’s Isham Jalil says party might sack him
“Being in the government and going to the election together are two different things. The Agong never told us to go to the election together with PH. So, don’t mix these two things up”
(MMO) – Umno supreme council member Isham Jalil believes his name is on an expulsion list for criticising the party’s electoral cooperation with Pakatan Harapan (PH).
He said his views against working with PH, especially its DAP component, was well known but denied that he told grassroots supporters not to vote for the candidate fielded by its former nemesis-turned-ally in the Johor twin by-elections last Saturday.
“I heard this week that a few more Umno members will be sacked in the next party meeting. There are rumours that my name might even be on the list.
“Well, it is up to the party’s leadership and the supreme council if they want to sack me.
“My struggle for my religion, race and country is sincere, and not because of personal interests,” he said in a statement on his Facebook yesterday.
Last Sunday, he claimed that Umno lost 27,000 Malay votes in the Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections.
According to Isham, this showed that Malay voters were rejecting Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition it leads.
He said that he agreed that Umno should support PH as a member of the unity government that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong wished for after last year’s general election deadlock.
But he added that he disagreed that it meant the Malay nationalist party “should go into an election with PH”.
“Being in the government and going to the election together are two different things.
“The Agong never told us to go to the election together with PH. So, don’t mix these two things up,” he said.
He also said the allegations that he told Umno members not to vote for PH or DAP is slander.
“What was said is that I will focus on Umno constituencies. You can see it in my live broadcast a few months ago on Facebook,” the former Umno information chief said.
He added that he had to correct an erroneous news report by a local Chinese-language daily on this matter when it first arose and was spread on WhatsApp a few months ago after Umno was trounced in GE15 last November.
Isham also denied that he was backed by certain people.
“Who is behind me? Maybe the grassroots. My friend Datuk Seri Najib who is also my boss, and is still in prison. I ask that the government and Umno leadership give justice to my boss and not forget him,” he said, referring to convicted former prime minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Isham also replied another Umno leader whom he did not name but claimed was pro-DAP who called for his resignation from the supreme council.
“I will not resign. I was elected by the grassroots,” he said, adding that he did not join the council as an appointed member.
He also claimed he did not want to be Umno’s information chief anymore as the position required him to promote DAP.
“I’m thankful that I don’t have to shoulder the task of telling our grassroots to support DAP, because that’s against my position.
“I’m not crazy for positions as I have also turned down appointment as board of directors for government-linked corporations twice,” he said.
It is understood that the Umno supreme council meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow night.