Proposed amendments not to get rid of those facing trial, says Tok Mat

Umno is proposing to amend its constitution to make it easier to register new members.

KUANTAN: Umno’s acting president Mohamad Hasan has dismissed claims the party’s plans to amend its constitution is to rid it of leaders facing trial.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of PAS’ 65th Muktamar here today, Mohamad said the proposed amendments were to make it easier to register new members.

He said if there was such a proposal to amend the constitution to eliminate party leaders facing trial, it would not make it past the Umno Supreme Council.

Mohamad said it was wrong to take away the right of members to choose their leader.

“It is not true that the Umno constitution will be amended to eliminate leaders involved in corruption. Instead, we want to make amendments so we can open up the party to make registration of new members easier, not difficult like before.

“Many young people are interested in politics but in the end, they joining PAS, PKR, PPBM and others,” he said.

Mohamad said the committee studying the constitutional amendments was chaired by vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin and tasked to obtain the views of the grassroots.

Yesterday, Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Adam was reported as saying Khaled had ill intentions in proposing constitutional amendments that would allow for members found guilty of corruption to be sacked.

Mohamad said he was unsure why Lokman had said it and if he wanted to spark controversy.

He said Umno had not placed any restrictions on its president, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, from carrying out his duties.

He also denied claims that Zahid will resign and that he would officially take over as president.

Zahid, who is facing 47 charges under Section 409 of the Penal Code, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, took leave from his presidential duties last year.

Mohamad has taken over the duties of the president.

“It’s up to Zahid. If tomorrow he tells me he wants to return to his office, I will make way. In fact, I don’t even use the Umno president’s office, I use my own room.

“He made the decision to take leave and if he feels more relaxed, that there is nothing else burdening his thoughts, he can return to continue as Umno president, there’s no problem.”