Better to keep sacked members out if readmission divides party, says Umno Veterans Club

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — The Umno Veterans Club is in favour of a proposal to readmit those it had purged post Election 2023 provided they show “taubat nasuha” or genuine repentance.

Its national secretary Datuk Mustapha Yaakub said the proposal by Umno supreme council member Datuk Jalaluddin Alias to give former members a second chance is well-intentioned, but added that it would be better to keep them out of the party if their return risks division.

“The proposal by the supreme council member who is also the Negeri Sembilan Umno liaison committee chairman is well-intentioned in giving these individuals a second chance.

“If readmitting them can strengthen the party, the veterans fully support it. However, if their return could cause division within Umno, it is better for them to remain outside,” Mustapha said in a statement yesterday.

The Umno veteran was responding to reported remarks by one of the sacked Umno leaders Isham Jalil who claimed that the Malay nationalist party must be desperate if it would seek out expelled members to grow its ranks.

Mustapha said the Umno may have lost many members but continues to grow daily.

He added that while many Umno members have expressed dissatisfaction with Umno’s alliance with one-time political foes Pakatan Harapan to form the government, many are also adopting a “wait-and-see” approach and their loyalty to Umno remains steadfast.

Mustapha said plans to reinstate purged Umno members had taken place many times before, including to former two-time prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was first kicked out of the party in the late 1960s for disagreeing with its then leader, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, but brought back by the next president Tun Abdul Razak.

“Throughout Umno’s history, many leaders who left or were sacked have been readmitted, including Mahathir,” he said.

He added that such a practice is agreeable to Umno members “as long as it is for the sake”.

“What matters is that all parties must be sincere and willing to forget past issues,” he said.

Jalaluddin was reported to have proposed readmitting Umno members who were purged in early 2023 who still showed their loyalty in a bid to strengthen the party last Sunday.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki has also supported the move, telling Malay Mail when contacted that the party is always open to those who share its ideology.