30 Langkawi Umno members to quit party tomorrow

GEORGE TOWN: A group of 30 Umno members from the Langkawi division are expected to announce their exit from the party tomorrow, citing unhappiness with developments in the party.

FMT has learnt that the 30 members would be led by a senior member who once served as a Kedah state executive councillor.

A source close to the move said the group would declare their support for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also Langkawi MP.

It is not known if the group will cross over to PPBM or remain unaffiliated.

The source said those quitting the party were not in active politics.

“The group is fed up with the current problems faced by Umno and has decided to leave. At one point the group was very fiercely loyal to Umno,” the source said.

In the last general election, Langkawi was swept clean by PPBM. Dr Mahathir beat incumbent Barisan Nasonal MP Nawawi Ahmad and PAS’ Zubir Ahmad in the parliamentary race.

The Ayer Hangat state seat was wrested by PPBM’s Juhari Bulat from Umno’s Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid. Juhari was permanent chairman of Langkawi Umno for 15 years before he decided to join PPBM.

The other state seat, Kuah, was won by PPBM’s Mohd Firdaus Ahmad who beat BN’s Nor Saidi Nanyan and two others.

Meanwhile, Langkawi Umno chief Nawawi Ahmad said a special meeting would be held tonight to discuss the apparent exodus of the 30.

“We do not know if it is real or not. We heard that among those planning to leave are ordinary members who want to follow Rawi, who is former Ayer Hangat assemblyman,” he said in a text to FMT.

Umno won 54 parliamentary seats in the May 9 general election, which saw the party’s fall from grace after six decades of dominating the government.

More than 10 Umno MPs have quit the party in the wake of the polls defeat, including former trade minister Mustapa Mohamed, former Puteri Umno chief Mas Ermieyati Samsudin who applied to join PPBM this week, and Bagan Serai MP Noor Azmi Ghazali.