Khaled Nordin says sackings, suspension to curb cancer from eating up Umno
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — The recent disciplinary action that included the sackings of several Umno leaders was undertaken to prevent the party from being destroyed from within, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin told Utusan Malaysia in an interview published today.
The new Johor Umno chairman said the party leadership had to take action as its ordinary members have been feeling restless since Barisan Nasional’s (BN) first electoral defeat in 2018, and upset at the reckless attitude of some of their peers who seemed to be running out of control with their elected representatives who jumped ship.
“We don't want to continue like this. The leadership will not know how to manage the party. The issue of discipline needs to be dealt with immediately, otherwise it will become a destructive force that could wreck the party.
“This is the restlessness that party members have been waiting to end,” Khaled was quoted as saying.
He noted that those who have been disciplined have since been reported that they were treated harshly and unfairly but said they should not pretend to be “innocent victims”.
“If you fail to discipline members, the party may suffer. The actions of the disciplinary board were not executed casually or recklessly,” he was quoted as saying, defending the expulsions and suspensions of prominent members like Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
Khaled said the party leadership had been patient with the dissenters and that Umno could no longer continue to run as if it were a ship with two captions on board.
“Sooner or later it will break and sink.
“One tugging to the left and one to the right. Members become confused on who to follow,” he was quoted as saying.
He said that critics would make all kinds of accusations but the Umno leadership has to be stern.
“But in this matter, I believe he agreed with the party's disciplinary board to get rid of the cancer in the party,” he said of incumbent Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He continued to defend Zahid, saying the latter had given great consideration before taking action.
“But the president knows that if he fails to manage the party, it also affects his image,” Khaled told the Malay newspaper.
He said investigations by the party disciplinary board had been carried out properly and with due procedure through the Umno general assembly, contrary to the claims of certain naysayers.
“If the party does not act, how can we face the voices putting the party down, or act on things that do not bring benefit, that are not seen as good for the party as a whole?” he asked.
He added that those who have been disciplined should be patient and take it as a lesson in politics, giving himself as an example.
He said he had been state Umno liaisons chief prior to his latest appointment and had been dethroned after losing in the 14th general election, but was able to get back in the game after winning the 15th general election last November.
He said he understood the anger and sadness but the ups-and-downs were part and parcel of being a politician.
“That's also called life, sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's tight. All that is training yourself to be patient and reflective,” he was quoted as saying.
Former Selangor Umno chief Tan Sri Noh Omar and former Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin were among 44 sacked from Umno last Friday, said to be for offences committed during the November 2022 general election which ranged from running as independent candidates and sabotaging the campaign efforts.
Others who received a six-year suspension from the party, apart from Hishammuddin, were its former information chief Shahril Hamdan, Datuk Maulizan Bujang and Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Sharif.