Megat Najmuddin only disciplinary board member, not chairman, Umno lawyer clarifies

File picture shows Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Datuk Mahfudz Omar attending the roundtable meeting on the formation of new opposition alliance meeting at the Empire Hotel in Subang, September 22, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
File picture shows Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Datuk Mahfudz Omar attending the roundtable meeting on the formation of new opposition alliance meeting at the Empire Hotel in Subang, September 22, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas is not chairman of Umno’s disciplinary board as reported and does not speak on its behalf, the party’s legal adviser Datuk Hafarizam Harun said today.

Hafarizam was responding to a report by news portal The Malaysian Insider earlier today, quoting Megat Najmuddin as the ruling Malay party’s disciplinary board chairman while weighing in on former supreme council member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah’s attendance at an opposition-organised roundtable discussion held before the launch of Pakatan Harapan.

“I wish to correct, Tan Sri Megat is not the Umno disciplinary board chairman.

“The disciplinary board chairman is Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen still, and he is overseas and whatever statement made by Tan Sri Megat must remain personal and to him only and not on behalf of the disciplinary board,” the Umno lawyer told reporters when met at the Kuala Lumpur court complex here.

He asserted that only Tan Sri Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail can speak on behalf of the board as the chairman.

After Saifuddin unexpectedly turned up for the session on September 22, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor told the media that the Umno leader would have to face action from the party.

He later said that the party had sent a show cause letter to Saifuddin to seek his explanation on the matter.

Tengku Adnan said Saifuddin had “tarnished” the image of Umno, which is already facing a “war of perception”.

Following the roundtable session, Saifuddin made veiled remarks on Twitter to say that creating an “imperfect” new leadership would be better than having no leadership in place, amid a credibility crisis faced by the current one.

It is unclear, however, whose leadership he was criticising specifically.

Saifuddin, who is currently the chief executive officer of the Global Movement of Moderates, was present at the meeting as the head of Akademi Belia.

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