‘HE-MAN ZAHID, MASTER OF THE UMNO UNIVERSE’ – PARTY WATCHERS IN TWO MINDS ABOUT HIS STRONG-ARM REMOVAL OF TAJUDDIN – SOME SAY IT WILL MAKE GRASSROOTS RESPECT HIM – OTHERS FEAR THE ALREADY DEEP CRACKS WILL WORSEN & IMPLODE THE PARTY

Anthony Loke

Will Umno members toe the line after Tajuddin’s removal?

GEORGE TOWN: Two analysts are at odds on whether Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s removal from the Umno Supreme Council will see other members toe the line.

Anantha Raman Govindasamy.

Anantha Raman Govindasamy of Universiti Malaysia Sabah said he believed members would conform, but Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk said dissent would not be stifled.

The Umno grassroots desired such obedience, he said. “They want a unified party, not a factionalised one.”

He also said the grassroots would appreciate a strong leader in the party and that Tajuddin’s removal would strengthen Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s position as president.

Azeem said it would be impossible to expect everyone to toe the line as there would be members who would continue to speak up.

Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk.

He noted that federal ministers Annuar Musa and Khairy Jamaluddin had openly opposed Zahid.

“There are already dissenting voices within the party, which will create factionalised politics,” he said.

Tajuddin was removed from the Supreme Council last week. Zahid said he was dropped for being critical of the party. He did not elaborate.

He also said all decisions finalised by the party’s leadership must be complied with although Supreme Council members were allowed to differ in their opinions.

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