KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — DAP adviser today expressed bafflement at the uproar within Umno’s central leadership over internal calls for its president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to step down while keeping his predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The veteran lawmaker questioned if Umno’s three million members have lost their “moral compass” by seeking to oust Ahmad Zahid and not including Najib as well — the latter whom Lim had repeatedly singled out as responsible for the country’s biggest and most shameful financial scandals as the immediate past prime minister.
“Umno claims to have more than three million members. Have they all lost the moral compass as well?” he asked in a statement.
The Iskandar Puteri MP listed the institutions that suffered losses during the former Najib administration as: 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Felda, Felcra, Tabung Haji, and Mara.
Lim also took a swipe at Ahmad Zahid, noting the latter’s refusal to step down by claiming he could only be removed constitutionally if two-thirds of the party voted against him at the Umno general assembly.
“Umno President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi has defied increasing pressure from inside Umno as well as pro-Umno NGOs to step down, declaring that the only way to remove him as Umno president is through the party's general assembly by over 146,000 delegates to fulfil the requisite two-thirds quorum.
“This raises the question whether Umno will have to build a mega-stadium with the capacity to accommodate at least 146,000 Umno delegates before Zahid could be removed as Umno President,” he mocked.
There have been calls for Zahid to step down, particularly from the party's youth wing and former youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
Lim noted that under Ahmad Zahid’s leadership, Umno is facing possibly its worst period in history with only 38 MPs left after an exodus of 16 MPs with the most recent being the Sabah exodus which saw five out of six MPs and nine out of 10 assemblymen abandoning ship.
The seasoned MP recalled that at its height in 1964, the Malay based party commanded 56.7 per cent of federal constituencies in parliament with 59 out of 104 seats. With 38 seats, currently the party only has 17.1 per cent of MPs in Parliament.
"If the former Umno Minister for Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism and Larut MP Hamzah Zainuddin is to be believed that 36 BN MPs including 33 from Umno had only a month ago signed letters of support for the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, and that Zahid had been kept completely in the dark about it, then as many as another 20 Umno MPs may leave Umno.
"This may result in Umno, which at one time claimed the divine right to rule the country, to be reduced to the regional status of PAS or even in having fewer MPs than PAS for the first time in Malaysian history — another ignominy for Umno after playing second fiddle to PAS in the Anti-ICERD rally in Kuala Lumpur on Dec. 8, 2018," Lim said.