KUALA LUMPUR: Leaders of the three Umno wings today concurred on the need for the party to take stern action against elected representatives who quit the party and demanded that the former members vacate their seats.
The reason, they said, was that the elected representatives concerned contested the seats on the Barisan Nasional (BN) ticket when they were Umno members.
They have used the party machinery and funds to win these seats.
As such, they have betrayed the party’s trust and mandate given by the voters when they decided to leave Umno.
Wanita Umno leader Noraini Ahmad said it was not against the law for the elected representatives to quit the party.
“The women’s wing wants the Umno constitution reviewed to enable action to be taken against party members, especially elected representatives, who quit the party.
“This is because it involves loyalty and integrity, and is in fact a betrayal of the mandate given by the people,” she said in her policy speech at the wing’s general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.
She also suggested that Umno implement the loyalty pledge on all party members to put a stop to such a practice.
Earlier, Umno Youth leader Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki had also urged the party leadership to take stern action, including legal, against Umno members who left the party.
He also said Umno leaders at all levels “linked with any problems” should leave the party in honour.
Meanwhile, Puteri Umno leader Zahida Zarik Khan supported the call to take action against Umno elected representatives who quit the party to become independents or join other political parties.
Autonomy for Sabah Umno
The three Umno leaders also concurred on the need for Sabah Umno to be given autonomy.
According to Asyraf, doing so would reflect Umno’s commitment and sincerity in recognising the special position and status of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federal Constitution.
“We want Umno to be the first national party to start the pragmatic move in giving autonomy to Sabah Umno as a recognition of the state being a key entity in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.
“It is also a recognition of the rights and interests of Umno members in Sabah as the state has the highest number of members, with nearly 20% of them non-Muslim Bumiputeras,” he added.
Zahida said giving autonomy to Sabah Umno would be in line with the change in the country’s political landscape.
On the cooperation between Umno and PAS, Noraini and Asyraf saw it as a platform to unite the Muslims and Malays, and to act as a check and balance in an effort to strengthen the opposition in the country.