KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Umno party had sacked its Women's wing chief from Perak, Datuk Hamidah Osman, because she had crossed the line, said Malaysian Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Saturday (Nov 28).
Khairy, who is also Umno Youth chief, denied her claim that the party's action signalled the death of democracy in the party and pointed out that many others remained in Umno as members despite criticising the party leadership.
"Democracy in Umno is still very healthy and in this country, we are the most democratic because for our Supreme Council, elections are held right down at division level," Khairy said at a media conference after opening the Umno Youth Bumiputra Funds Convention in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (Nov 28).
The Supreme Council, Umno's top decision-making body, had on Tuesday (Nov 24) announced its decision to sack Hamidah due to "disciplinary issues". Hamidah had been publicly critical of the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also Umno's president.
Najib's leadership has been under scrutiny as he tries to control the hot potato issues of the debt-laden state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the discovery of RM2.6 billion (S$867 million) in his personal accounts.
Hamidah was reported to have said that the party's move to expel her signalled the death of democracy in the party .
Meanwhile, Khairy on Saturday (Nov 28) also took a swipe at the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), questioning how many members were involved in the election for the its central executive committee.
He said that in a democracy, the freedoms accorded must come with responsibility.
"As a political party, members must be disciplined, we are not a fish market where members can do anything they feel like," he said.