KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad may have been giving Umno a chance to rebuild itself by not immediately deregistering the party, an Umno president hopeful believes.
Entrepreneur and blogger Rahmat Azim Abdul Aziz, 46, said that Umno leaders should, therefore, take the chance to prove the party’s worth.
In an interview with Malay Mail, Rahmat, also known as Mat Umno online, said Dr Mahathir only needs one good reason to deregister Umno: By virtue of the party failing to conduct its internal polls, postponing the process twice.
“Mahathir only needs one reason to deregister Umno: That the election was not held. Tun is giving the Malays a second chance for them to buck up, but the leaders in Umno are not doing that.
“They have no clue what is going on, what to do and have the cheek to say that we have no money to run the party,” Rahmat told Malay Mail.
The last Umno party elections were held on October 19, 2013.
Then party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak had, in 2015, said that the elections initially due in 2016 had been postponed for 18 months as it needed to make preparations for the 14th general election.
The 18-month extension was scheduled to expire this week.
However, on March 5, the Registrar of Societies (RoS) said it had allowed another postponement of the party elections as it is in accordance with the Clause 10.17 of the party constitution.
The Clause allegedly allows a further extension of 18 months, in addition to the three years allowed in Clause 9.3, making it a total of 56 months between the previous and the next polls.
However, Clause 10.17 does not exist in the Umno constitution.
Previously, Umno veterans Tan Sri Rais Yatim and Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz had also voiced their disapproval over the party getting two consecutive postponements.
“Now, if I am reading the tempo right, if it were to be deregistered, it would have already been done. That’s why I said Tun is soft.
“Tun still sympathises with Umno, or otherwise he would not want to see Zahid,” he said referring to acting Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a staunch critic of Dr Mahathir.
It is rumoured that Zahid met Dr Mahathir to make his case against deregistering Umno.
Zahid has kept mum over the meet, but Dr Mahathir told the press that the former called on him to seek advice on how to run the party.
Rahmat submitted his nomination form to Umno last week, but it is still unclear if the application was accepted.
“Umno is in serious need of a clean-up. Serious need of a revamp. It is wrong to leave [Umno members] like that, and then if you have Umno disbanded, it’s wrong.
“This party played a crucial role in our nation’s independence, we need to preserve it. Boost it with good leadership and vision from our young blood,” he added.