News analysis

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's quest for redemption rocks former ruling party's boat

KUALA LUMPUR - Not all in Umno are heralding the return of their president, fearing Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's sudden announcement on Sunday that he is ending his garden leave could lead to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resuming a hostile stance against the once-dominant party.

Just days before the end of his six-month sabbatical, Datuk Seri Zahid, the former deputy premier, was charged with 40 more counts of graft, bringing the total of charges he is facing to 87. This is far in excess of the 42 charges levelled against his former boss and ousted prime minister Najib Razak, who resigned as Umno president soon after the party's shock defeat in the May 2018 election. The financial mismanagement at the state investment firm, 1MDB, was a big issue at the polls.

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