UMNO’s direction is still unclear even though its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has gone around the country to explain the party’s position since it lost power in GE14, party grassroots said.
They said Zahid had formed many committees to revive Umno but there was still no clear direction.
The party was just doddering along without a helmsman, they said, because its leader had not shown members a clear direction.
“It is hard to work with a leader without direction. He seems to have given up. Maybe he will even resign himself,” an Umno grassroots source told The Malaysian Insight.
“There is pressure for him to give way because of the 45 charges he faces in court. That’s reason enough for him to give up the presidency,” the source said.
Zahid faces 45 counts of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money-laundering involving RM114.15 million. Of the total, RM21.25 million was allegedly for kickbacks for approving projects related to foreign worker recruitment when he was home minister.
Despite being popularly voted in as president, Zahid has not been able to control the party five months after taking over from his predecessor, former prime minister Najib Razak.
Several Umno MPs have since quit the party, with a few joining Umno splinter party Bersatu.
Recently, its long-time partner MCA also proposed to dissolve Barisan Nasional to make way for a new coalition. Zahid is also BN chairman and opposition leader in the Parliament.
It also appears that some Umno leaders are not on the same page as Zahid, showing further signs that the opposition leader has failed to control his party and BN.
While Zahid had urged Umno members to join this Saturday’s anti-International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in Kuala Lumpur, BN secretary-general Nazri Abdul Aziz, who is also from Umno, said he was sitting out.
Nazri, who was appointed to the BN post by Zahid, said there was no need to attend the rally because the government was not ratifying the UN convention anymore, adding that he was very happy of the decision.
BN has 51 MPs with 48 from Umno, two from MIC and one from MCA.
An Umno MP, who declined to be named, said he was tired of waiting for Zahid to show where the party and BN are headed, such as with the shadow cabinet which appears not to be performing at all.
He said some MPs had tried to talk to party secretary-general Annuar Musa but their grouses and complaints fell on deaf ears.
“You formed all those committees but you gave no direction after that. Some went to see Annuar but he does his own thing.
“You can’t talk to the president. You also can’t talk to the sec-gen. They don’t listen. They still have that warlord culture.
“Now, I feel lazy going up to the 14th floor,” he said, referring to where the opposition leader’s office is located.
The source also lamented that as opposition leader, Zahid did not speak up or comment on issues concerning the Pakatan Harapan administration as much as Najib, who is only the Pekan MP.
Najib has been aggressive in giving comments and ideas that could help strengthen Umno, improve welfare and the country’s economy.
“Who’s the opposition leader here?” the source said.
Meanwhile, an Umno division leader, who was met during one of Zahid’s roadshow programmes, said discussions were only held between the party president and those close to him.
This caused unhappiness among other MPs and division leaders.
“We don’t know what to do. Division leaders like me are not involved. So we don’t know what we should do except to send invitations to members to tell them to attend the programmes.
“There are many questions. There are many things that are unclear in Umno,” said the leader, who declined to be identified.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT