Umno to toughen stance against corruption
KUALA LUMPUR, 29 May 2009: Umno office bearers who are charged in court will be suspended from their party positions until proven innocent, the party’s supreme council (MT) agreed in principle today.
Toughening its stance against corruption and negative public perception about the party, the MT decided that it would adopt this principle on such cases from now on. This is a departure from the present practice of office bearers who have been charged with corrupt practices retaining their posts until proven guilty.
Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the matter had been discussed by the party’s disciplinary board appeals panel.
“Anyone charged in court will have to be suspended from his [or her] position. He [or she] will only get [the] position back if he [or she] succeeds in being cleared by the court,” Najib said at a press conference after an Umno MT meeting today.
Najib also announced that former senior police officers and retired Anti-Corruption Agency officers would be among those recruited into the disciplinary board’s tribunal and investigating committee.
The purpose is to inject more professional expertise in stemming the practice of money politics in the party.
Amending party constitution
Najib also said Umno would hold its annual general meeting (AGM) for 2009 from 14 to 16 Oct. The main agenda would be amendments to the party constitution, likely with regards to the party’s election process.
A special assembly will be held just before the AGM to debate the constitutional amendments before they are adopted at the AGM.
Najib said the draft of the amendments was almost ready and would be circulated among the Umno state liaison committees for feedback.
Manik Urai by-election
The supreme council today also appointed Kelantan Umno liaison chief Datuk Mustapa Mohamad as the party’s Manik Urai by-election director.
Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is to supervise the overall by-election campaign but leave the operations on the ground to Mustapa.
Najib said the MT would wait for Kelantan Umno to submit a list of possible candidates before deciding who to field. “There is still time,” he said. Nomination for the by-election is on 6 July and polling is on 14 July.
On the re-admission of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Umno, Najib said the supreme council today formally approved his application, and that of his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, and their son Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir.
Mahathir left Umno on 19 May 2008 to express his disappointment with BN’s losses in the general election and over the leadership of then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He rejoined the party on 4 April 2009.