KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was booed by thousands of Umno members during party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s special address today.
During his speech today, more than 1,000 party members in the Merdeka Hall at World Trade Centre (WTC) Kuala Lumpur booed in unison on four separate occasions when Ahmad Zahid referred to Ismail Sabri.
Members also shouted, “Where is Mail (Ismail)?” as he was the only prominent party leader seemingly absent from today’s special presidential address.
Ahmad Zahid also again called for Parliament to be dissolved soon, to pave the way for a general election (GE15).
Ahmad Zahid said that he, along with deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and other leadership, will raise the matter at tonight’s Umno Supreme Council meeting which Ismail Sabri is required to attend.
“(Be) ready to face the GE anytime. Barisan Nasional’s big victory is a reinforcement of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s struggle for the party and the country.
“We believe that the government led by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will not let this hope fade away even if the date of the general election is delayed,” he told party members who responded with chants of “Bubar! (Dissolve)”.
Ahmad Zahid said that the demand for GE15 to be called was consistent as Umno wanted a stable mandate, saying that the current government is not a “real” Umno government as it has to share power.
He said the current reality was an unstable political scenario had put the country’s economy in an increasingly precarious state as Ismail Sabri had to depend on an agreement with the Opposition to retain power.
“The stability and virtue that is chanted is like a mere fairy tale. The fact is stable politics does not depend on a few sheets of paper alone. “This is not the decision of Zahid Hamidi or Tok Mat Hasan. This is the voice and decision of the Supreme Council, the Umno General Assembly and the Umno Special General Assembly,” he said referring to decision made by the party.
Also present were members of Najib’s family, including his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, son Pekan Umno Youth chief Datuk Mohd Nizar Najib and daughter Nooryana Najib.
Meanwhile, Najib’s legal counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim recounted the case to the Umno members.
Ahmad Zahid’s special briefing to party members came less than a week after media reports of a tense Umno political bureau meeting on August 24.
In particular, Ismail Sabri was allegedly pressured to intervene in former prime minister Najib’s incarceration during the meeting.
However, several Umno leaders have denied the matter.