Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Umno division defies Najib, MB over Yip resignation

Umno’s Padang Besar division said today Titi Tinggi assemblyman Yip Sun Onn should not be persuaded to retract his resignation, in remarks which appear designed to put Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Md Isa Sabu’ in a tight spot. Since his appointment as MB two years ago, Md Isa has been facing mounting discontent from among his party’s divisions in Perlis, particularly those aligned with predecessor Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
Division chief Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, who is understood to be aligned with Shahidan, said the Umno machinery was ready for a by-election.

“We cannot bow to such an irresponsible act. Who is he to threaten the state leadership? We want him to leave and we are prepared to face another by-election,” said Zahidi.

He said that the division committee had met last night and it was of the opinion that Yip had shown disrespect to the state leadership.

Titi Tinggi is one of five seats situated within the Padang Besar federal constituency, and one of two allocated for MCA to contest under the Barisan Nasional (BN) banner.

Zahidi clarified that his demand for Yip not to retract his resignation was not because the Umno wanted to contest the seat.

“According to the quota, the seat belongs to MCA. We just do not want ungrateful MCA leaders,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“But MCA must take action against him. If not, in the next election MCA should not contest the seat. Seventy per cent of the voters here are Malays so there should not be any problem for us,” said Zahidi.

When it was pointed out that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Md Isa were in favour of Yip withdrawing his resignation, Zahidi said the Umno division knew what was best for the constituency.

“The national leaders and MB must listen to the division. We are the ones who will be doing the work during election,” said Zahidi.

He further alleged that Yip had damaged BN’s unity in Padang Besar by interfering in local Umno affairs.

“It is because of him we may face problems here. He complains about not getting [an] exco position but here, he interfered with appointment of members of village security and development committees where he sidelined many Umno branch chiefs,” said Zahidi.

Yip resigned yesterday, just days after he was removed from the state executive council and replaced with Indera Kayangan assemblyman, Dr Por Choo Chor.

Perlis Assembly Speaker Yazid Mat had said that he would not forward Yip’s resignation letter to the Election Commission (EC) in an attempt to persuade him to retract his resignation.

Earlier today, Najib reportedly said that he had received confirmation from his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, that Yip would continue to serve as state assemblyman.

Yip won the seat in Election 2008 with a majority of 1,814 votes in a three-cornered fight against PKR’s Keria Senawi and independent, Mohammad Razi Mustaffa.

Former Perlis Umno information chief, Datuk Hashim Suboh, said today that the MCA man’s move to quit proved that Md Isa had failed to provide leadership in the state.

“Yip’s resignation confirms our early analysis that Datuk Md Isa’s leadership has not been accepted by the people,” said Hashim who heads Mantap, an organisation that aims to unseat Md Isa.

Md Isa was appointed mentri besar despite an apparent decision by Barisan Nasional’s (BN) national leadership to let Shahidan continue to head the state government.

But Shahidan, who had been the mentri besar since 1995, was said to have lost the confidence of the majority of the state assemblymen.

Md Isa was appointed to the post with the support of nine of the 15 state assemblymen.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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