Zahid Hamidi would have become a great surgeon had he not joined politics. With great precision, the president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO)  boldly and decisively removed two biggest cancer cells from the party – Khairy Jamaluddin and Hishammuddin Hussein. The decision on Friday (Jan 27) effectively eliminates all Zahid’s opponents in the party.

While the Malaysia’s oldest political party has sacked Khairy and supreme council member Noh Omar, former defence minister Hishammuddin was suspended for a whopping 6 years. In total, almost 50 UMNO leaders were either fired or suspended. Of course, they have tried to put up a brave face, saying “this is not the end, but merely a beginning” and all sorts of self-comforting quotes.

Khairy announced he is “unbowed, unbent, unbroken”. Yet, in a series of Instagram stories on Saturday (Jan 28), he whined and bitched how he was unilaterally and unfairly sacked. He complained that despite his loyalty to the party for 23 years, he had not been given a show cause letter, let alone disciplinary hearing. Hilariously, before his sacking, he bragged that he was ready to face any disciplinary action – including being sacked.

Hishammuddin too was stunned over his suspension. In a TikTok video posted at about 8pm Saturday (Jan 28) night, he claimed he would not be broken, along with a quote – “What has happened will not break my spirit to continue my struggle for my religion, race and country”. Equally hilarious, he too had challenged Zahid to sack him a couple of weeks ago – if the UMNO president dares.

Now that both UMNO warlords have been punished, they started to pretend how innocent they are and how they had been victimised by their party president. In truth, Khairy and Hishammuddin deserved to be sacked after what they had done to the party. The only reason Hishammuddin and his gang were suspended instead of axed is because they are Members of Parliament.

It’s not a coincidence that all those who were expelled like Khairy and Noh do not contribute any parliamentary seat to UMNO. Noh Omar, a well-known gangster, thinking Zahid could not do any worse, stood up during the supreme council meeting and challenged the party president to sack him instead of suspended for 6 years. Zahid gladly complied – “If that’s what you want, you got it”.

Not even former lame duck Prime Minister Ismail Sabri, one of three UMNO vice-presidents, could pressure Zahid against punishing Khairy and Hishammuddin. The punishments might not have followed the necessary process, but Zahid’s action was not illegal. Some five supreme council members disagreed with the disciplinary decision, but Zahid had already decided.

Mr Noh probably had forgotten that his boss was a bigger gangster when he tried to play reverse psychology by saying he would rather be sacked and suspended. Mr Khairy, an Oxford graduate, probably thought he was too intelligent for his boss to sack him. Mr Hishammuddin most likely believed he was too powerful and influential to be punished.

However, they have all miscalculated and misread Mr Zahid. The UMNO president is not a master strategist like former PM Mahathir Mohamad. He is not a snake oil salesman like Najib Razak, the crooked ex-PM currently serving 12 years in prison for looting the state investment fund 1MDB. And he is certainly not a politician with patience equals to God’s like Anwar Ibrahim.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is just the “Big Boss” of “Tiga Line Gangster”. So, like Al Capone, he will do what a gangster boss would normally do when faced with rebels, snitchers and betrayers within the organization. Either he exterminates those disloyal to him, or get killed eventually. He does not want to waste time looking over his shoulders for backstabbers and betrayers.

Speculations that action would be taken against UMNO traitors, saboteurs and provocateurs had already begun after the 15th General Election in November 2022. Behind Zahid’s back, traitor Hishammuddin quietly instigated 10 UMNO-led Barisan Nasional MPs to support rival Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin as 10th Prime Minister after the election that produced a hung Parliament.

Yes, back in Nov 21, Hishammuddin said he was willing to be removed by the party, rather than cooperate with Pakatan Harapan in forming a new government. Having signed statutory declaration (SD) to support Muhyiddin, he was leading 10 MPs ready to cross over to the enemy’s camp, only to retract the SDs after Zahid warned they could lose their parliamentary seats in violation of anti-hopping law.

The same anti-hopping law which saw Hishammuddin chicken out some three months ago is the same reason Zahid could not sack him on Friday. If he is sacked, he could keep his seat and happily join opposition Perikatan Nasional. On the other hand, he will lose the seat if he quits UMNO over his 6-year suspension. To keep the seat within UMNO, Zahid cleverly suspends Hishammuddin.

Now, the cousin of Najib is trapped for the next 6 years. He could neither challenge Zahid nor leave the party. There’s no guarantee Hishammuddin could retain his Sembrong seat if a by-election is called if he quits UMNO. The fact that he won in the recent election suggests that it was a stronghold of UMNO. Therefore, UMNO supporters would not accept a traitor if he jumps ship to Muhyiddin’s party.

But Hishammuddin’s treachery and betrayal started as early as after the May 2018 General Election. After Barisan Nasional lost power for the first time in 61 years since independence, he cowardly ran away, refusing to even defend his precious UMNO vice-president post. Worse, he began sucking up to PM Mahathir Mohamad, who successfully led Pakatan Harapan to the historic victory.

Having deserted UMNO when the party was at its lowest point, Hishammuddin only came back after it returned to power as one of governing partners in the loosely glued Perikatan Nasional backdoor government in March 2020 – comprising UMNO, Muhyiddin-led Bersatu and extremist PAS Islamist party. He again tried to leave UMNO after the party performed terribly in the Nov 2022 national election.

When UMNO lost power in 2018, traitor Hishammuddin instigated dozens of UMNO MPs to switch sides to Mahathir in an attempt to weaken his own party. When UMNO lost more seats in 2022, the same traitor instigated 10 Barisan Nasional MPs to switch sides to Muhyiddin in an attempt to destroy his own party. Exactly why should Zahid keep a Trojan horse like Hishammuddin?

Clearly, Hishammuddin isn’t as loyal to UMNO as he tries to hoodwink the UMNO-Malays. In fact, he is worse than his cousin Najib. At least, Najib did not badmouth his own party’s president, let alone plotting with the enemies who wanted to destroy and swallow UMNO, before taking over its assets, grassroots and machinery. Hishammuddin’s loyalty is with Muhyiddin and Bersatu, not UMNO anymore.

Like the ambitious Hishammuddin, Khairy too wanted to become the youngest prime minister. He openly declared during 2022 General Election campaign that he is ready to lead the country and become prime minister. It was merely a gimmick to win Sungai Buloh parliamentary seat, which he did not succeed. He was deliberately given the tough seat to end his political career.

Accusing UMNO of having gone astray under Zahid leadership, Mr Khairy was admitting that the party has become rotten and corrupted. He tried to paint himself as a reformist, copying a page from Anwar Ibrahim’s “Reformasi” playbook. He must have thought voters were too stupid to remember how he kept quiet as his former boss – Najib Razak – helped himself to billions of dollars in the infamous 1MDB scandal.

 He also assumed the people were too gullible to realize how he, as Minister of Health, had given instruction to free Najib by relocating the crook to the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital on Sept 17, 2022, allowing the prisoner to stay in VVIP ward – till the plan was exposed by an anonymous. Khairy claimed Najib needed physiotherapy, but Najib only suffered high blood pressure, which has nothing to do with physiotherapy.

Crucially, it was under Khairy’s leadership that Pharmaniaga, despite its lack of expertise, was allowed to rebottle and repackage Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at a time when people were dying so that some cronies could profit from it. It’s absolutely funny that Khairy wanted to clean up UMNO only after he was out of favour and no longer a government minister.

And you don’t need a genius to tell the actual mastermind behind the civil servant of the Ministry of Youth and Sports involved in RM100 million scandal when he helmed the ministry. The perception that Oxford-educated Khairy was relatively clean and efficient is largely because 99% of UMNO leaders and ministers were clueless, incompetent, corrupt and not highly educated.

Make no mistake – Khairy and Hishammuddin were not punished because they challenged Zahid’s presidency. They were sacked and suspended for betraying the party – destroying UMNO internally by working the enemies like Bersatu and PAS, as well as sabotaging Barisan Nasional candidates and campaign during election by sponsoring independent candidates as in the case of Noh Omar.

Hishammuddin, who is also the grandson of Onn Jaafar who founded UMNO in 1946, and the eldest son of 3rd Prime Minister Hussein Onn, thought he belonged to an UMNO blue-blood hence “untouchable”. Likewise, Khairy, who is the son-in-law of 6th Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, thought he was part of the elite club and also untouchable. But both arrogant warlords hadn’t a clue what Zahid was capable of.

Ironically, Hishammuddin and Khairy were the same UMNO racists who happily waved their respective “Keris” (Malay dagger) during the party general assembly in despicable attempts to frighten and threaten minorities Chinese and Indians. Today, that same weapon – the keris symbol on UMNO flags – has come back to end their political career.

Both Khairy and Hishammuddin would instantly withdraw support for the Anwar-led unity government if they managed to topple Zahid. Their loyalty has been with Muhyiddin since they were bribed with senior ministry portfolios in March 2020. True, Zahid isn’t as educated as Khairy and not as eloquent as Hishammuddin. But at least Zahid refused to surrender to Mahathir during UMNO’s darkest days.  FINANCE TWITTER

Umno purge: Zahid’s position is strengthened, but may affect party in state elections, say analysts

PETALING JAYA: Recent sackings and suspensions have strengthened Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s position in Umno but may have weakened the party ahead of the state elections, say political observers.

They also expected those given the boot to be welcomed by other parties or coalitions.

Khoo Kay Peng is among political analysts who believed the sackings worked in the Umno president’s favour.

However, he said those sacked and suspended carried the support of between 25% and 30% of Umno grassroots.

“Their departure will cause Umno some losses during the next state elections,” he said.

Khoo said sacked leaders including former Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin may be looking for new political platforms.

Khoo said Perikatan Nasional was likely to be a more attractive platform for Khairy compared with Pakatan Harapan, if he “wants to get back at Ahmad Zahid”.

Also sacked was former MP Tan Sri Noh Omar, while Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein was suspended from the party.

Former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan, former Youth exco member Datuk Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahya, former Johor state exco member and Tebrau Umno division chief Datuk Maulizan Bujang and former Jempol MP Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Mohd Shariff were also suspended for six years.

Universiti Sains Malaysia senior lecturer Dr Azmil Mohd Tayeb said Zahid Hamidi had solidified his position within the party and ensured his survival for now.

“The natural choice for the sacked Umno leaders is to join Bersatu and be in the opposition, an unfamiliar status for them,” he added.

Political pundit Dr Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd Mokhtar of the International Islamic University Malaysia, meanwhile, said the purge means two things.

“Ahmad Zahid is strengthening his position, but at the same time inflicting deeper division among the grassroots,” he said.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun said Khairy may be more suited for Pakatan then Perikatan.

“His image is one of a reformist and progressive. It would be incompatible with the regressive and religious outlook of Perikatan,” he added.

Several Perikatan leaders have stated their support for Khairy and the other leaders who were punished.

Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has said the party is leaving its doors open for Khairy if he wants to join the party.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, however, said on Sunday (Jan 29), that Pakatan will consult its component parties before deciding to accept sacked Umno leaders.  ANN