Zahid incensed by suggestion to take leave

Bernama pic.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today gave a terse response to a suggestion that he take leave from the party pending the outcome of his corruption trial.

“What right do you have to ask the question?” Zahid, who is facing charges related to criminal breach of trust, money laundering and corruption, told a reporter at the Parliament lobby today.

On Saturday, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who heads the party’s council of advisers, said it was best for Zahid to either take leave or resign from his post as was the practice of previous Umno leaders who had been charged in court.

But Umno ruled out the suggestion, saying it was never a standard operating procedure.

Zahid was elected as Umno president in July, replacing Najib Razak who gave up the post in the wake of the May 9 polls.

Last week, the former deputy prime minister was slapped with 45 charges involving more than RM100 million.

Zahid today also brushed aside comments by Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday suggesting that Umno was doomed.

“Isn’t Umno still around?” he asked. “Never mind, let him be.”