KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Eight Umno branch members from the party's Teluk Kemang division in Negeri Sembilan have been suspended for six years by its disciplinary board after calling for the resignation of party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The group's spokesman Kamarul Azman Habibur Rahman told Malaysia's The Star newspaper that eight of the nine members who spoke against Najib - who is also the Malaysian Prime Minister - have received suspension letters.
"The only one who has not received it is me. Since I am the spokesperson, there may be something bigger in store for me," he said adding that attempts to contact the board were unsuccessful.
Taman Datuk Haji Abd Samad branch chief Datuk Mohd Zin Mustapa told reporters that he received the letter on Dec 3, a day after meeting the disciplinary board on Dec 2.
"Now that we have been suspended, we have no way of holding a position or to voice our grouses for the next six years. It goes to show that democracy is dead in Umno, but we are not afraid because we are right," he added.
On Oct 24, several Umno branch leaders from the Teluk Kemang division had asked for Najib to relinquish his post as party president.
They said they were concerned about the party and felt that Najib was not the right person to steer them to victory at the next general election.
After meeting the disciplinary board on Dec 2, the members had said that they would not back down as it was their right to speak out.