Malaysia’s biggest political party Umno has decided to terminate the membership of four of its incumbent lawmakers who went rogue by contesting for rival parties or as independent candidates in the Nov 19 national polls, Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said on Monday.
Datuk Seri Ahmad said the four men broke Umno’s Constitution by doing so. Umno is linchpin of the four-party Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Three of those to be axed were incumbent lawmakers from northern Perlis state who were dropped by the party from contesting in the polls. The fourth was a lawmaker from Pahang who was also sidelined from the polls by Umno.
The trio from Perlis were former Cabinet minister Shahidan Kassim, former deputy minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin, and former state lawmaker Azhar Ahmad.
Datuk Seri Shahidan will defend his Arau parliamentary seat in Perlis by riding on the rival Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) ticket.
Datuk Zahidi is defending his Padang Besar parliamentary seat as an independent, while Datuk Azhar will also defend his Titi Tinggi state ward as an independent.
In Pahang, former deputy minister Ismail Abd Muttalib is defending his Maran parliamentary seat as a PN candidate too.
Ahmad, the Umno secretary-general, said: “Expelling the four is in line with Clause 20.11 of the Umno Constitution which states that ‘a member who wins in a contest and leaves the party, or contests as an independent candidate, or for a rival party in a parliamentary or state election will have his or her membership terminated automatically’.
“With the termination of their memberships, all their posts at Umno division levels will now be held by the respective deputy chiefs.”
Ahmad said several other Umno members, “including those seen accompanying these four candidates for the nomination process are assumed to have supported the candidates of rival parties”, are being investigated before possible action by the party.