KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Umno bigwigs Datuk Seri Halimah Sadique and Khairy Jamaluddin have joined a growing chorus of party leaders urging their embattled party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to resign after Barisan Nasional’s (BN) disastrous performance in the 15th general election (GE15).
Taking to her Instagram, the former Kota Tinggi MP, who was dropped by Ahmad Zahid in the run-up to GE15, said that Umno cannot afford to absorb any individual liabilities and personal interests.
“I respectfully ask that Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi resign immediately. Be magnanimous, president. Be responsible for what has happened.
“Do not taint the sanctity of the Umno again with shallow, unfounded and unprincipled thoughts just for personal gain,” she told Zahid, who only managed to defend the Bagan Datuk parliamentary seat by a razor-thin margin of 348 votes, against Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin.
Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, who was dropped by Ahmad Zahid in the run-up to GE15, said that Umno cannot afford to absorb any individual liabilities and personal interests. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Halimah called on Ahmad Zahid to place party interests above all other considerations, like his predecessor, now convicted former prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
She also called on all Umno division leaders to be courageous and join the call seeking Zahid’s resignation for the party’s future.
Khairy also took to Instagram to share a short remark in agreement with Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and now former Umno information chief, Shahril Sufian Hamdan, who had earlier made a similar request of Zahid.
“Onn and Shahril have done the right thing. Now senior leaders must follow. Don’t tell me you’re going to just watch. Cheering win at PWTC but end up pawning the country,” he said referring to the World Trade Centre where Umno’s headquarters is located.
Khairy also took to Instagram to share a short remark in agreement with Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and now former Umno information chief, Shahril Sufian Hamdan. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Onn had, in his statement, said Zahid should follow in Najib’s footsteps of resigning, before Umno’s support base erodes further.
“Many Umno, MCA, and MIC leaders of high calibre and potential were sacrificed because we didn’t want to listen to the grassroots.
“We should dare to change the course of the party for the future of this party. If we do not change now, we will not win a single seat in the future,” Onn Hafiz said.
Similarly, MIC vice-president Datuk Sivarraajh Chandran took to Twitter today, urging Zahid to “do the right thing”.
“Do the right thing sir @DrZahidHamidi. You are a friend to me but I think you should let others to lead. It’s a clear message from Malaysians. Plz take rest sir,” he wrote.
Sivarraajh was BN’s candidate for the Padang Serai parliamentary seat. The election there has been suspended following the death of its incumbent, PH’s M. Karupaiya, who died on the campaign trail.
BN only managed to win 30 out of 222 seats in Parliament in the election that ended yesterday. In 2018, it won 79 seats.
Last night, Shahril lost his bid for the Alor Gajah parliamentary seat, which he narrowly lost in his first attempt in GE15.
He garnered 27,288 votes compared to PH candidate Adly Zahari who polled 28,178 votes for a wafer-thin majority of 890 votes.
Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof, obtained 17,211 votes while the Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) candidate, Muhammad Nazriq Abdul Rahman, lost his deposit when he only got 323 votes.
Earlier, he issued a statement on Facebook, saying he will also resign as Umno’s information chief, in the spirit of “collective responsibility”.
He said that he appreciated the opportunity but noted that the stakes were currently higher for the party.
Khairy meanwhile, suffered a shock defeat to PH in yesterday’s nerve-wracking general election, to Datuk R. Ramanan, a former MIC member who later joined PH and contested for the first time.
His popularity had prompted pundits to make him the favourite to win the Sungai Buloh race despite the constituency’s reputation as a PH stronghold.
Yet he lost to a largely absent Ramanan who rode on a relatively weaker campaign. Ramanan won by 2,693 votes, some 22,000 fewer than what the PH coalition garnered in GE14.
After the results were polled, PH won 82 seats, while PN won 73.
No single coalition has scored the simple majority of 112 seats to form a government.
With Malaysia’s Parliament hung, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong has today ordered coalition and party leaders to notify Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun of their numbers to form a new government by 2pm tomorrow.
He also told them to state clearly their respective prime minister candidates, Comptroller of the Istana Negara Datuk Seri Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement this afternoon as the post-election impasse continued.
“The head of the political parties and the head of the coalition of political parties will be asked by Tan Sri Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat to state their respective agreements and to submit the name of a member of the Dewan Rakyat who has the trust of the majority of members, and to nominate a candidate to be the prime minister of Malaysia before 2pm on Monday, November 21, 2022.
“In accordance with Article 40(2)(a) and Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, it is also informed that His Majesty’s order of consent and decision regarding the formation of a new government and the appointment of the Prime Minister through the process that has been explained is final,” he said.