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UMNO refuses to discuss outcome of Mukhriz meeting

KUALA LUMPUR — The fate of Kedah Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir hangs in the balance as the leaders from the Kedah chapter of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), who had demanded his removal, refused to disclose the outcome of their meeting yesterday with party president Najib Razak.

UMNO refuses to discuss outcome of Mukhriz meeting

Kedah Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir is facing allegations of a loss of confidence in his leadership. PHOTO: The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR — The fate of Kedah Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir hangs in the balance as the leaders from the Kedah chapter of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), who had demanded his removal, refused to disclose the outcome of their meeting yesterday with party president Najib Razak.

Several of the state representatives, who had been part of a press conference on Wednesday calling for Mr Mukhriz to step down after alleging a loss of confidence in his leadership, declined to elaborate on their meeting with Mr Najib.

“I can’t say anything, my mouth is shut,” Kedah UMNO Women’s Wing chief Maznah Hamid told the reporters.

Baling UMNO Division chief Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said “everything went well” at the meeting, which started at 4pm, but remained mum when asked if any decision was made on Mr Mukhriz’s position.

UMNO Sik Division chief Mansor Abd Rahman also refused to comment when asked by reporters on his way out. “I can’t say anything … leave it at that,” he said.

The meeting at UMNO headquarters in Kuala Lumpur saw Mr Najib leave early, while the Kedah party leaders continued their discussion.

One of them who did not want to be named said the group was still adamant that Mr Mukhriz should step down.

“He should not be given a second chance. We are united on this,” he was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insider.

During Wednesday’s press conference, which was led by Kedah UMNO deputy chairman Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, three reasons were cited to remove the son of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has been publicly criticising Mr Najib, who is also the Malaysian Prime Minister. They were Mr Mukhriz’s alleged failure to unite the party leadership at all levels, failure to plan for the 14th general election, expected to be held by 2018 and failure to lead the state effectively.

UMNO deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin warned on Thursday that the party could be further weakened by the current campaign to oust Mr Mukhriz.

Mr Muhyiddin, whose removal as Deputy Prime Minister last year caused a rift within UMNO, said it was Mr Mukhriz’s stature as a respected leader that enabled the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition to wrest the state of Kedah from opposition Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, in the 2013 general election.

Some analysts have also said Mr Mukhriz was caught in a proxy war between Mr Najib and Dr Mahathir.

Meanwhile, Mr Mukhriz said yesterday he had not done anything wrong to warrant any disciplinary action to be taken against him by the party.

“I don’t think I have done anything wrong,” he said when asked whether he was worried if disciplinary action would be taken against him.

However, he declined to comment when asked whether he would push for disciplinary action to be taken against the group who called for him to step down.

“No plan just yet, just wait and see,” he added. AGENCIES

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