UMNO crisis worsens as 31 Langkawi assemblymen call it quits

UMNO crisis worsens as 31 Langkawi assemblymen call it quits

UMNO AGM opening ceremony
UMNO party members hold the opening ceremony of its general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Dec 7, 2017. (Photo: AP/ Choon Hiam) 

ALOR SETAR, Kedah: Mr Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid, the former state assemblyman for Ayer Hangat, Langkawi, has announced his resignation from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), along with 30 divisional and branch leaders.

Mr Mohd Rawi told a press conference on Thursday (Dec 20) that after taking into account the developments in the political landscape, he wants to assist the current Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to develop the country. 

"Although I love the party, I decided to quit UMNO and join another party under PH, in an effort to continue to help guarantee the current prosperity under the leadership of the government of the day. Maybe we can help them (the current government) to fill in the gaps now," he claimed.

“There is an allegation that we quit UMNO and joined another party because we are getting money, but I want to make it clear here, we joined another party without being given any position and with no money offered."

He also said that he will make an announcement in two weeks which PH component party he will join. The others will make their decisions later, he added.

Mr Mohd Rawi was also quoted as saying by The Star that UMNO was not united and there was a lot of in-fighting.

“The majority of UMNO members are still in the lurch, waiting for direction from the party. Many are not convinced that UMNO will rise again when they look at the present political scenario.”

A former Kedah state executive councillor, Mr Mohd Rawi claimed that over 50 per cent of the 17,000 UMNO members in Langkawi have resigned but said he could not confirm the actual number.

UMNO is in deep turmoil, with senior figures leaving the party.

On Dec 12, more than a dozen Sabah UMNO lawmakers and state assemblymen quit and pledged their support to the PH government and prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. Two days later, six UMNO lawmakers in the peninsula followed suit.

After days of defying calls by members to resign, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi handed over his duties to the party’s deputy president Mohamad Hasan on Tuesday night.

Mr Mohamad, known as Mat Hasan, was appointed the acting president on Thursday.

Some UMNO politicians have expressed a desire to join Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).

Zahid has warned PPBM that if it accepts UMNO defectors, they would take over the party.

On Wednesday, Dr Mahathir dismissed Zahid’s warning, saying: “No way. They (UMNO members) cannot hold any office until the next election”.

Source: Bernama/CNA/aw