Hishammuddin letter ‘to be withdrawn’

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is said to have considered the Hishammuddin issue closed as it had been discussed at the Umno general assembly.

PETALING JAYA: Umno is believed to be likely to rescind a disciplinary letter to former vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein over alleged violation of the party’s constitution and code of ethics, according to a party insider.

However Hishammuddin himself indicated in a Facebook posting tonight that he was prepared to face the disciplinary hearing.

A party insider had told FMT that secretary-general Annuar Musa had asked the disciplinary board chairman, Mohamed Apandi Ali, to withdraw the letter.

Apandi had confirmed to FMT earlier today that the board had asked Hishammuddin to appear and defend himself on Dec 26.

Apandi refused to discuss the contents of the letter or whether it was because of a meeting at the residence of deputy PKR president Mohamad Azmin Ali, which Hishammuddin had attended.

Hishammuddin said in his posting tonight: “Let them investigate. I have nothing to hide”.

He said most Umno members were intent on strengthening the party, and the party president had acknowledged at the recent Umno general assembly that all Umno MPs remained loyal to the party.

“So, let’s not go back to speculation,” he said, calling for members to close ranks and renew the people’s confidence in Umno and the Barisan Nasional.

According to FMT’s source, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi himself had revealed in a WhatsApp message that the board would be asked to withdraw the letter

However the party has previously said that the disciplinary board was empowered to act independently.

According to Zahid’s message, he considered the matter closed as he had discussed it at the party’s recently concluded general assembly.

Another political source told FMT that Hishammuddin had not received the disciplinary board letter.

The disciplinary board action comes a month after Hishammuddin was alleged to have been part of moves to form a new government through defections from Umno.

Hishammuddin was among a group of two dozen MPs from Barisan Nasional at the dinner meeting with Azmin, rumoured to be part of an attempt to forestall moves to force out Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Apandi refused to comment when asked whether Hishammuddin had called for a meeting with Azmin.

Zahid had previously defended Hishammuddin, who is MP for Sembrong, saying the meeting with Azmin, minister for economic affairs, was to discuss the channelling of government projects to the MPs’ constituencies.

Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam has accused Hishammuddin of having betrayed the people by being part of the meeting.

However, Hishammuddin has denied that he arranged the meeting or of being part of moves to form a new government.