KUALA LUMPUR: The Umno supreme council meeting this evening is expected to be fiery one as some of its members are planning to voice their concerns over its president, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi following his court charges.
While some council members said they will do things "according to the book", there are those who plan to make their stand and be loud and clear about it.
A supreme council member, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that the members will refer to the Umno Constitution and the party’s code of conduct when referring to the case.
They expressed hope that the council will reach a consensus if the matter is discussed.
Party members at various levels, including the veterans have urged the leadership to look into the party constitution’s Article 9.12 in a bid to revive the party.
Article 9.12 states that any Supreme Council member, including the president and deputy president, can be dismissed or that the Supreme Council can be dissolved by a special general assembly with votes of no less than two-thirds of the total number of members entitled to attend.
The council member said that he and his fellow council members did not intend to break any rules, but stressed that everyone in Umno must follow the party’s code of conduct.
“There is no specific way of doing this… One size does not fit all as every case is different in their own way and terms.
“But we do whatever is in the best interest of the party,” the source told the New Straits Times.
Another supreme council member said nobody has commented or spoken about Zahid and the charges against him during his Oct 1 court proceeding.
Zahid was charged with 45 counts of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power involving more than RM114 million.
“Sure, people were giving statements to the media, but many council members kept mum on the matter. So far, no sound,” he said.
When asked if he would voice his opinion on the matter, he said he planned to wait for the Supreme Council meeting before saying anything.
Council member Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said this meeting was an opportune time for Zahid to explain hia charges as this was the first meeting since he was brought to court.
He said all members should be open to hearing the various opinions that may be raised during the meeting as this was the progressive way to steer the party forward.
Rahman said no “one person" dominates and determines the narrative of the party, and that was why differing voices must be heard and appreciated for the betterment of the party.
“The new Umno should cherish differences of opinion because if we stop people from talking, we are going back to the old Umno,” he said.
This meeting, he said, is a scheduled meeting that planned to discuss the party’s position in moving forward.
He said members can expect a post-mortem presentation from the top leadership following their nationwide roadshow, which was aimed at engaging with the grassroots members.
This presentation will hopefully find a solution on how the party could regain the people’s trust, he said.
So far, only the Umno Youth wing has given ita stand on Zahid's case.
Umno Youth Chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki recently expressed the wing's request for Zahid to take leave until his court case was settled.
“We are requesting him to take leave and rest, but that does not mean we are saying he is guilty or that he must let go of his post as party president.
“Our principle is that as long as he has not been found guilty, it is not fair of us to ask him to step down,” said Asyraf Wajdi.
Political analysts, including Professor Dr Mohd Aizuddin Mohd Sani and Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, advised that Umno should follow through with the request if the party wanted to remain relevant.