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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

THE CLAMOR IN UMNO FOR ZAHID TO GO GROWS: ZAHID NOW LABELLED AS ‘DISHONEST’ BY OWN PARTY MATES

UMNO Youth again urged Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to go on leave, pending his court cases at a party retreat where the president was present on Sunday.
The second call came just days after the Youth wing met and issued a statement on October 25 calling for the same.
At the Umno Youth retreat held in Janda Baik for Umno Youth leaders from the divisional level, Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki repeated the stand in his speech. Zahid was present at the closing ceremony of the retreat.
Asyraf said Umno Youth took that step out of love for the party and respect held for the office of the president.
“We will not betray him as he is the leader of the party, and especially not when we, as the party, have been betrayed by those we have considered as our fatherly figures,” he said in his speech, a copy of which was sighted by The Malaysian Insight.
Asyraf added that by making the call, Umno Youth was not trying to sink the party.
“We promise that we will never allow this party to sink. We will make sure it continues sailing,”  he told 326 participants from Umno Youth from all divisions in the country.
Also present at the closing ceremony was Umno information chief Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.
Umno Youth agreed on October 25 to call for Zahid to be relieved of his position so that he can face his court cases.
This was to allow Zahid to concentrate fully on clearing his reputation and prove his innocence.
Zahid’s position as party president has been placed under a spotlight after he was charged with 10 counts of criminal breach of trust, eight counts of receiving bribes amounting to more than RM42 million, and 27 charges of money laundering.
The charges involve more than RM114 million and are related to his foundation, the Akalbudi Foundation, as well as decisions he had made while he was home minister under the previous administration.
Asyraf said the Youth wing’s stand on the matter was similar to that taken by Zahid when he was the wing’s chief. He had then urged party leaders to step down when they faced investigations.
“In fact, even before becoming the Youth wing chief, Zahid was the loudest in wanting then Youth chief Rahim Thamby Chik to step down after being involved in a scandal,” said Asyraf to loud cheers at the retreat.
Rahim, who was Malacca chief minister, eventually went on leave as Youth chief after he was accused of being involved with an underage girl in 1994.
Asyraf said he was disappointed that there were several in the party who had attacked the Youth wing for its stand.
“When we give our views, we are polite. We can’t tolerate those who want to cause disunity and trouble in the party.
“These people are ignorant of the president’s mindset and thinking, for he is a person who appreciates differing views.
“That is why, no matter what, he is here today,” he said.
Zahid then tried to explain his cases.
“I take this opportunity not to treat this hall as the court for me to present my defence but I ask you to listen to my explanation.
“After that, think about it. If I am found guilty even before the court decides, I will accept your verdict and will resign from my post, not just take a break,”   he said.
The Bagan Datuk MP stressed that he was not involved in any criminal breach of trust and that money from the foundation was used to fund religious schools, suraus, mosques and printing of Quran.
Umno Youth leaders, however, said they were not satisfied with Zahid’s explanation.  – the malaysian insight

Umno Youth didn’t buy Zahid’s ‘explanations’

UMNO Youth found the party president’s rationale as to why he should not go on leave while he stands accused of several crimes unacceptable, said sources from the wing.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s attempts to clear his name at a Umno Youth retreat last weekend were unconvincing and his explanations unsatisfactory, they said.
During the retreat in Janda Baik, Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki clarified to grassroots members the reason for his proposal for the party’s No. 1 to take a break, said a source.
“Asyraf’s explanations were clear,” the source told The Malaysian Insight.
“How can we defend our president when Umno Youth itself is not clear on the case?”  
The source said Asyraf informed members that he met with Zahid prior to his court appearance on October 19, when the former home minister had sought to clear up allegations of misconduct surrounding a charity foundation run by his family.
Asyraf was allegedly shocked to find that the charges levelled against Zahid were not consistent with the president’s earlier explanations.
The Youth chief next met with lawyers as well as the Youth heads in various states to discuss the case and to obtain their views before bringing forth the suggestion for Zahid to step aside from party matters.
“Zahid keeps repeating that the foundation funded religious schools, surau, mosques, the printing of Quran, but he never explained the source of the funds and how they were used and how he ended up being charged with criminal breach of trust,” said another source at the retreat.
“We cannot repeat our past mistake of defending a president without knowing what really happened.”
Zahid’s position as party president is under the spotlight after he was charged with 10 counts of criminal breach of trust, eight counts of receiving bribes amounting to more than RM42 million, and 27 charges of money laundering.
The charges are related to more than RM114 million linked to the Akalbudi Foundation or the decisions he made during his tenure as the home minister in the Barisan Nasional administration.
According to the source, the retreat was attended by leaders and their deputies of 326 of the 380 Umno Youth branches.
The source said at the beginning, the mood at the retreat was tense, as several branch leaders did not agree with the proposal for their president to go on leave.
“But after Asyraf explained in detail the reasons for it, the majority of Youth leaders understood and supported his decision.” – THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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