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Malaysia GE15: Calls for UMNO president Ahmad Zahid's resignation grow louder

Malaysia GE15: Calls for UMNO president Ahmad Zahid's resignation grow louder

United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) president and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at a BN event on Oct 27, 2022. (Photo: Facebook/Zahid Hamidi)

KUALA LUMPUR: Calls are mounting for Mr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s resignation as president of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and chairman of the wider Barisan Nasional (BN), following the coalition’s dismal performance in Malaysia's 15th general election (GE15).

Several UMNO leaders now want Mr Ahmad Zahid to take responsibility for the coalition’s failure in the polls and to put the party’s interests first, as his predecessor Najib Razak did in 2018.

Former National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique, UMNO Youth vice-head Shahril Sufian Hamdan, Johor BN election operations director Onn Hafiz Ghazi, Kulai BN deputy chairman Mohd Jafni Md Shukor and UMNO Youth exco member Muhamad Muqharabbin Mokhtarrudin are among those openly calling the former deputy prime minister to step down honourably.

Halimah, in a statement on Instagram, said UMNO can no longer be responsible for individuals in the party who only prioritise personal interests.

“Don't smear the sanctity of UMNO again with shallow, unfounded and unprincipled thoughts just for personal gain," she said.

“Return to UMNO’s original struggles. The party's struggles and priorities should be focused on the grassroots who yearn for an institution capable of championing their plight."

Shahril, in a statement on Facebook, said UMNO leaders must advocate the concept of collective responsibility in the face of failure, and Mr Ahmad Zahid must set an example of this by leading the process of taking responsibility for the defeat.

He said the UMNO president must also give all opportunities possible for other party leaders to make major decisions for UMNO.

Onn Hafiz, who is also Johor Chief Minister, said Ahmad Zahid must be magnanimous enough to vacate his position just like Najib.

“We all are aware that a Malay political tsunami has happened where the Malays have rejected UMNO. UMNO has fallen," said Mr Onn Hafiz.

“Although it is a bitter pill to swallow, UMNO leaders, including myself, need to again listen to the voices of the people, which has been translated through their votes in yesterday’s polls.”

He noted that UMNO and BN only won nine parliamentary seats in Johor and lost all the seats contested in Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Melaka, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Mohd Jafni said in a media statement today that the coalition’s defeat in GE15 meant that BN and UMNO are no longer the people’s choices.

He said Mr Ahmad Zahid’s resignation would signal that early measures are being taken to revive UMNO.

Muhamad Muqharabbin said the people’s dislike for the party's president had been shown through the votes.

“BN fell because of its arrogance by going solo and not wanting to change as well as not listening to the views of the grassroots and the people. This is actually its weakness,” he said.

"As such, it is only appropriate that Ahmad Zahid step down and the party holds elections immediately to give the new UMNO leadership the mandate to bring actual changes."

In yesterday’s GE15, BN performed dismally after winning just 30 out of the 178 parliamentary seats the coalition contested.

This was far worse compared to GE14 when it secured 54 parliamentary seats.

Source: Bernama/jo

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