Report: Tajuddin, Alor Setar UMNO chief suspended for defying party top brass

TWO vocal critics of UMNO have been suspended from the party on suspicion of going against the party’s top brass, according to news reports.

The decision to suspend Pasir Salak UMNO chief Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and his Alor Setar counterpart Datuk Mohd Yusof Ismail was made yesterday (Sept 30) after a meeting of the party’s supreme council.

Yusof told The Star he does not know why he was being suspended and for how long as he has not received any official letter on the matter; he said the decision was relayed to him by UMNO Supreme Council members last night.

“I have no idea why they decided on this. I have been very vocal in the division chiefs’ group and I have been very supportive of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“Perhaps it was a signal to the prime minister that should he not dissolve Parliament, his supporters among the division chiefs will bear the brunt,” the self-admitted Ismail ally speculated. 

Datuk Mohd Yusof Ismail (Photo credit: Astro Awani)

Ismail has been under intense pressure from Zahid to dissolve Parliament soon to pave the way for early polls – the 15th General Elections (GE15) must be held before September 2023.

Yusof added that he would not appeal his suspension as he had done “nothing wrong”.

“I consider myself as UMNO then, now and forever,” he said.

Six-year suspension “harsh”

Meanwhile, Berita Harian reported that both Yusof and Tajuddin were suspended from UMNO for six years.

Yusof told the Malay daily that he was disappointed with the decision, which he said was harsher compared to the “punishment” given to former UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, who has openly criticised party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Ismail in the past.

In February 2020, Lokman was sacked from UMNO over a leaked audio clip where he was said to have criticised Zahid for trying to convince the party leadership to back then-prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Lokman was accepted back into the party last September.

Even so, Yusof admitted that he has criticised Zahid – but only in a WhatsApp group with other UMNO divisional chiefs (i.e. in private).

He also noted that Zahid, during the meeting last night, did not spell out what wrongdoing he and Tajuddin did that ended up in the duo being suspended.

He reiterated that he has been considered a critic of Zahid all this time and this is why the party is indicating to Ismail that GE15 must be held soon – “or else”. 

Tajuddin, on the other hand, was removed from UMNO’s Supreme Council just three months ago after calling for Zahid’s head and saying he was a “liability” to the party.

The outspoken Pasir Salak MP was previously sacked in UMNO in 1995 over allegations that he paid RM6 mil to secure his position as the party’s Pasir Salak division chief. He was re-elected to UMNO in 1998. – Oct 1, 2022


Main photo credit: The Star

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