Umno sacks former Malaysia health minister Khairy, suspends ex-defence minister Hishammuddin

Umno sacks former Malaysia health minister Khairy, suspends ex-defence minister Hishammuddin

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin has been sacked from Umno for “violating party discipline”, while former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein has been suspended, the party announced on Friday.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin, a former party vice-president, and former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan were among a handful of members suspended for six years, said Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan after a supreme council meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

“Tonight I was sacked by the party I love, to which I showed allegiance. Unbowed, unbent, unbroken,” Mr Khairy tweeted after the decision.

The supreme council meeting on Friday night at Menara Dato Onn was closely watched by political observers amid mounting speculation that disciplinary action would be taken against former Rembau MP Khairy.

His party membership was in question after his recent claims that “imported delegates” were “brought in” at a recent Umno general assembly to manipulate voting.

The assembly voted that there would be no contest for the party’s two top posts at the upcoming party polls.

The former Umno youth chief said on Thursday he is ready to face any action, including sacking.

“Of course I’m prepared for anything. This is politics after all – you don’t go into politics not being prepared for any eventuality,” he said.

Mr Khairy contested the Sungai Buloh parliamentary constituency at last year’s general election, which saw a seven-cornered fight. The former three-term MP lost to Pakatan Harapan’s Ramanan Ramakrishnan.

Earlier on Friday, Umno, a key member of Malaysia’s unity government, sacked its former Selangor division chief Noh Omar, the first of several members disciplined for speaking out against the no-contest decision.

Tan Sri Noh Omar had said that it was “better to sack me than suspend me” when he was told of the party’s decision to suspend him for six years.

“Tonight is historic for me. The party president (Malaysia deputy prime minister Zahid Hamidi) in his address at the Umno supreme council meeting announced that a few members would be sacked and suspended.

“All of a sudden, I heard my name being announced that I was to be suspended for six years,” he told reporters after leaving the Umno supreme council meeting.