KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — Umno has implored other component parties in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government to not accept its party members who have been suspended or sacked on the basis of mutual respect as governing partners in the administration.
Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said Umno members who have been sacked or suspended will surely ‘infect’ their new parties and that could possibly jeopardise the existing harmony between coalition partners.
“On grounds of mutual respect, it is reasonable for former Umno members to be rejected or declined from joining the government coalition partners.
“Why didn’t they choose Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia or PAS who previously claimed to be ‘friendly’ and not with the government?” Ahmad Maslan was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia.
Most recently, former deputy minister of communications and multimedia Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin had expressed his wish of joining PKR but eventually conceded to the grassroots to join Parti Amanah Negara instead.
Zahidi Zainul was previously sacked by Umno for contesting as an independent candidate in the 15th general election when he was not nominated as a candidate to defend his Padang Besar seat.
Last month, Umno carried out a purge of the party, expelling a total of 44 members for several offences including contesting as independent candidates and helping opposition candidates in the polls.
Additionally, former vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and former information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan were suspended for six years, along with Datuk Maulizan Bujang and Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Sharif.