A POLITICAL analyst has recommended that UMNO proceed with prudence when re-admitting expelled and suspended members, warning that those who return could be “Trojan horses”.
“UMNO’s Supreme Council should avoid reinstating individuals who criticise the leadership either openly or discreetly, as their return may undermine harmony in the party,” Free Malaysia Today reported Universiti Malaya Associate Prof Dr Awang Azman Pawi as saying.
He added the party should only admit individuals who take a “non-confrontational approach,” citing Datuk Lokman Noor Adam as an example.
According to Awang, he is of the opinion that UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s statement doesn’t apply to former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin, former vice president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and former information chief Shahril Hamdan.
Moreover, Khairy was among those sacked while Hishammudin and Shahril were suspended for a period of six years. The trio has been vocal in their criticism of Zahid on a variety of issues.
Zahid stated on Saturday (June 10) that the party’s supreme council was willing to reinstate dismissed and suspended members.
“UMNO’s disciplinary board would evaluate the appeals of these members before they were brought to the party’s supreme council for deliberation,” noted the Bagan Datuk MP.
Earlier, UMNO Youth delegate Mohd Kurniawan Naim Moktar urged the party’s top brass to welcome back members who had just been fired or suspended, claiming they were still faithful to UMNO.
Meanwhile, International Islamic University Malaysia Associate Prof Dr Syaza Shukri pointed out that Zahid’s remark demonstrates his response to grassroots demands.
“I think Zahid also realises that UMNO needs all hands on deck for the state elections, including those who disagreed with the party’s decision to form the unity government. Zahid’s initial decision to expel or suspend these members was a demonstration of the power he could wield as president.
“Now that the message has been sent loud and clear that he’s in power, he’s more open to negotiating their return.” – June 14, 2023