PETALING JAYA: Khairy Jamaluddin today said Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s position has become “untenable” and the party elections due by June should be held immediately.
He said many in the party have become increasingly uncomfortable over the purported phone conversation between Zahid and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim. The recording has been spread widely over social media.
“I think many people in the party are very uncomfortable over the phone conversation, purportedly between Zahid and Anwar. I think Zahid’s position is increasingly untenable as president of the party.
“Hence, the party’s Supreme Council must meet immediately and allow for the party elections to take place immediately.
“The best way to move on is to have the party elections now, not wait until the end of the year,” Khairy said on the sidelines of an event here.
In the unconfirmed recording, believed to have taken place soon after Umno’s annual general assembly last month, a man who sounded like Anwar quipped that it was his first time following the assembly in the past 22 years, to which the other man said: “Don’t worry, that is only tactical.”
Both men have since denied the recording and said police reports would be lodged over the matter.
At the Umno assembly, Zahid had said that the party’s Supreme Council had decided on “No PPBM, no Anwar, no DAP” when contesting in the next general election.
There have been calls for Zahid to resign as president since he is facing criminal charges in court.
He had said he did not have to quit as he was democratically elected and had yet to be found guilty.
Zahid, the former deputy prime minister, is facing 47 charges for criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
Zahid had announced his return from garden leave on June 30, 2019, six months after he had made the decision to do so. He had handed over his duties as Umno president to deputy, Mohamad Hasan, in an attempt to prevent more party members from quitting the party.