Malaysia's Mahathir says futile to hold next Umno general assembly

Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad during an interview with Reuters at his office in Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, on Oct 22, 2015.
Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad during an interview with Reuters at his office in Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, on Oct 22, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has raised issues over the upcoming Umno general assembly in December.

In his latest post in his blog Chedet.cc on Monday (Nov 23), Dr Mahathir said that the meeting would be futile as certain issues would not be raised at the gathering. These included issues surrounding the troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state investor and the RM2.6 billion (S$862 million) donation that was deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's private bank account.

Another issue, he said, was that the public would not even be able to follow the speeches at the assembly. "Proceedings will be closed-door. And only the president's speech will be aired."

According to Dr Mahathir, deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was also set to launch the party's Youth, Wanita and Puteri wing assemblies. But he would not be able to address the 1MDB issue as a "warning" had been in place on Umno members not to discuss it, he said.

"Warning has been given to Umno members not to speak of this matter. What kind of Umno assembly is this?" he asked.

Dr Mahathir also claimed that although he was not contesting for any positions, efforts were being made to prevent him from meeting Umno members or the public.

He also wrote about facing challenges, saying it was part and parcel of life, especially in politics.

"When I was the president of Umno and prime minister, I faced many challenges. Among them was when my presidential post was being challenged by then Umno treasurer Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

"The voting took place in a democratic manner and I won by merely 43 votes. And I accepted it," he added.

Dr Mahathir added that those who could not face or overcome challenges should just quit politics.

The Umno general assembly is expected to be held from Dec 8-12.

The party is also holding an unprecedented supreme council meeting in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 24). The meeting had been brought forward from Friday (Nov 27) to Tuesday (Nov 24), leading to allegations of a plot to quickly axe Muhyiddin and party vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal who are currently abroad. Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has denied those allegations, saying the party would not resort to such drastic action without disciplinary justification.