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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Semporna Umno warns purge may hurt BN in GE14

Semporna Umno has alluded that plans to purge Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s vocal opponents from the party may hurt the ruling coalition in the next general election.
The Umno division, which is led by Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal, one of the leaders believed to be on the chopping block, said this in a last-ditch appeal ahead of a final decision on the purge.
“We must remember every vote and seat in the coming 14th general election is important for Umno’s survival.
“The seven leaders said to be facing action, particularly Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and Shafie as Umno vice-president, surely have hardcore supporters not only in their own areas but across the nation.
“Ousting these leaders will directly erode the confidence of members, particularly among the youths, in Umno,” Semporna Umno said in a statement late last night.
It added that in the context of Sabah, Shafie was instrumental in bringing Umno into the state.
“What is the message that we are conveying to the young generation and the rakyat in Sabah if leaders who have contributed in bringing Umno to Sabah, carried out his duties with distinction as an elected representative and served in seven ministries is simply removed for voicing out the rakyat’s concern?” it said.
Semporna Umno added that the party was already facing an erosion of support as seen in the last two general elections.
“For the first time in history, Umno (BN) lost the popular vote to the opposition.
“Will removing, suspending or sacking Umno leaders and former leaders who have contributed to the party’s struggle regain the rakyat's confidence in Umno?
“Is Umno so strong today that its fundamental struggle is for the rakyat’s interest and not for the interest of leaders?
Muhyiddin and Shafie were in July removed from the cabinet for their criticism of Najib’s handling of 1MDB.
1MDB is struggling to repay its US$11 billion debt amid claims of misappropriation.
‘Is 1MDB bigger than the party?’
Semporna Umno also questioned whether 1MDB had now become bigger than the party that any Umno leaders who criticised it would face action.
“To date, Muhyiddin and Shafie had never accused the prime minister of any misappropriation in the 1MDB scandal other than issuing statements asking that the 1MDB management and the Finance Ministry to be transparent, honest and consistent in explaining to the rakyat the questions that worry them,” it said.
Muhyiddin had last week lashed out at Umno leaders for being “cowards” by not voicing out on such issue as the country is faced with a crisis.
This had irked several Umno leaders who are supportive of Najib with many seeing it as a last straw.
Najib is facing urgings for his resignation not only over the 1MDB scandal but also the discovery of RM2.6 billion in his personal bank accounts.
Najib had denied taking public funds for personal gain while his supporters claim the money was a donation from the Middle East. -Mkini

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