TEMERLOH – Umno is not a “guesthouse” for a certain leader to leave the party and returns to as he wishes, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
In alluding the trait to former party president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Zahid said the individual should have “just remained quiet” outside Umno and stop interfering with the party he is no longer part of.
Zahid, who is also Umno vice president, said the party did not need such characters, whose leadership had reached the “expiry date”.
“He seems to treat Umno like a guest house by checking in and out as he pleased. After he was sacked from the house (party) on Sept 26, 1969 by Tunku Abdul Rahman, he returned during Tun Abdul Razak’s leadership in 1972.
“Then he quit again on May 19, 2008, during Pak Lah’s (former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) time, and then returned in April 2009 when (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) took over before leaving in February last year.
“Now he is trying to destroy the house in a manner akin to ‘habis madu sepah dibuang’ (once the sweetness is gone, the leftover is discarded). If you cannot respect yourself then do not return again. We do no want you back,” Zahid said in his speech to the Temerloh Umno division meeting today.
Zahid said if the individual had honoured the party, he should have instead advised and provided assistance to new party leaders, instead of choosing to relentlessly attack Umno in a bid to destroy it.
“When Pak Lah completed (his time as prime minister), he never once took a saw to divide the organisation (meddle with Umno related matters).”
Using an analogy, Zahid said even a respected grandfather would have certainly provoked ill-feelings among his grandchildren should he constantly lashed them with a cane.
“It was not a small cane but a huge one (referring to accusations). So now, is it wrong if the grandchild runs away from the grandfather, and for each time the the was cane thrown at him, the grandchild would pick it up and hurled it back?
“That is exactly what the deputy of the house is doing (referring to his role as Umno vice president who carries the duties of a deputy president). The house owner (Umno top two leader ) daily get caning, so we throw the cane back at the grandfather
“If the grandfather cannot love his grandchildren, then he should not return home.”
Meanwhile, Zahid urged Umno grassroots members to reject former Umno leaders who had abandoned the party.
He said it is the responsibility of more than three million Umno members, including those at divisions and branches, to always defend and remain loyal the current party leadership to ensure Umno remains united and strong.
“Umno leaders and grassroots should not sympathise and support those who attempt to create disunity within Umno and bring down the party by continuously hurling accusations.
“Umno has been around for 71 years and we have seen many ‘house owners’ who have been always loyal. (But) there were some who have attempted to hurl stones and spears from within the glass house (Umno).
At the same time, Zahid told party members in Temerloh to reject a former deputy minister who previously served with Umno if the latter tries to offer himself to contest in the 14th General Election (GE14).
“He was given the opportunity to contest in Temerloh during the 12th General Election (1998) and became member of parliament. During the 13th general election(2013), he lost and later quit,” her said in reference to Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah who had joined PKR in 2015.
Describing himself as Najib’s loyalist, Zahid said he would never sit idly when Najib, who is the Umno president is attacked by various quarters.
“As part of Umno, I am not prepared to see such situation and will be in the front line to counter the attacks and to safeguard the president. I will always remain wala’ (loyal) to Najib.” -NST