KUALA LUMPUR: An Umno branch leader says he is not afraid to face the music from Umno for going to court to challenge the legality of Umno postponing party elections.
Salihudin Ahmad Khalid, who heads the Seri Merpati Pandan Indah branch, said Umno should be fair if it wanted to take disciplinary action against him.
“The Supreme Council members who allegedly breached the party constitution for postponing our election should also be punished. That is my view,” he said at the High Court here today.
Salihudin and 15 fellow Umno members from different states have sought a judicial review against the party on grounds of having breached its constitution by delaying the elections.
They named as respondents Umno executive secretary Ab Rauf Yusoh and the Registrar of Societies.
The Umno members said the party should hold elections every three years and the leadership could only delay them for an 18-month period. However the party was granted an extension until next year.
Party elections could be only extended up to 54 months under the party constitution, and the last elections were held in October 2013.
They said that the delay had denied them their right to pick their leaders.
In 2015, Langkawi Umno member Anina Saadudin was sacked from the party a few days after she filed a lawsuit against Umno president Najib Razak.
Salihudin said he found it odd that Umno leaders were holding their positions for such a long period without new elections.
“How long do they want to hold on to their posts?” he said. “I don’t feel confident to be a branch leader for a long time while not being elected.”
Salihudin said he had been with Umno since 2002 and had voted in the party’s elections until 2013. “I have written to RoS to ask why Umno did not call for polls but they have not replied until today,” he said.
Salihudin’s lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla said an order had been sought to halt any decisions made by Umno against its members.
“Former minister, Rais Yatim has questioned the validity of Umno not having party elections and advised the supreme council members to bring an action in court, but the council did not do so,” he said.
“Umno cannot blame their members for seeking legal confirmation,” he said.
Haniff also questioned whether party president Najib Razak could sign the letter of credentials for each of the party’s candidates to stand in the general election on May 9. He claimed that the party was now an “illegal” party after its constitution had been allegedly breached.
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