2019-12-17 16:17:35  2192943
A classic baffling story
Annuar Musa says the Umno leadership has never intervened into any investigation by the party's disciplinary board on any member. What about the case on Hishammuddin?
By Mohsin Abdullah

This to me is a classic.

We know quite a number of Umno leaders who are not happy and even angry with Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. Why? Because they alleged that Hishammuddin had persuaded several Umno MPs to jump over to Bersatu.

Remember the meeting at the residence of PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali in November? Yes, the one with 22 Umno MPs attending.

The Umno leadership said they were never informed about the meeting. Many party leaders believed it was Hishammuddin who set the meeting up.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam is among those very vocal against Hishammuddin, calling the former vice president’s action a betrayal. He lodged a report to the party disciplinary board chaired by former attorney-general Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali.

He had called for stern action against Hishammuddin for allegedly trying to sway Umno MPs to support prime minster Tun Mahathir Mohamad and Azmin who is economic affairs minister in the Pakatan Harapan administration.

Then it was recently reported that the disciplinary board had summoned Hishammuddin to appear before it on December 26.

The Malay Mail reported a show cause letter dated December 13 bearing the signature of Mohamad Apandi had ordered Hishammuddin to be present for a hearing at 2pm on the said day.

The letter also said proceedings would carry on even if Hishammuddin does not turn up for the hearing and a decision would be made regardless if he is present or absent.

Apparently, after complaints were made against Hishammuddin, a special investigating panel was formed and it was found that there are grounds to support allegations of Hishammuddin breaching party regulations.

The offences involved disobeying party instructions, failing to adhere to party policies and failure to protect the reputation and dignity of the party. All those carry punishments ranging from a warning to being sacked.

And what was Hishammuddin’s response to that? This was what he posted on Facebook: “I have been consistent. Go ahead and investigate. I have nothing to hide.”

So we have a “normal” situation of a disciplinary board hauling in an alleged offender and the alleged offender saying go ahead and investigate. A straightforward story. Well, not quite.

You see on December 16 The Malaysian Insight reported Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa had conveyed a request for the disciplinary board to withdraw its summons to Hishammuddin.

A day later Malay newspaper Sinar Harian quoted Annuar as saying although the show cause letter had been issued, the party leadership was of the opinion that Hishammuddin’s case had been settled.

As Annuar sees it, Hishammuddin has given an explanation to Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who in turn has spoken about it during his winding up speech at the recent Umno general assembly.

“As far as I as I know, the Hishammuddin issue is settled,” said Annuar as quoted by Sinar Harian.

But earlier when contacted by MalaysiaKini, Mohamad Apandi confirmed the disciplinary had sent the show cause letter to Hishammuddin seeking his presence on December 26.

Annuar on the other hand said the letter was not issued “through me”. But if I may ask why should the letter go through the secretary-general as it is a document from the disciplinary board which is supposed to be “independent”and free of intervention. Or is Annuar trying to say that in Umno everything must go through the secretary-general? Granted in most organisations the sec-gen is powerful.

Anyway, looking at his statement requesting for the disciplinary board to withdraw its summons issued to Hishammuddin, I can't help but wonder if Annuar's remarks or action can be seen as intervening into the affairs of the disciplinary board.

But Annuar puts it this way: the Umno leadership has never intervened into any investigations conducted by the party's disciplinary board on any Umno member.

Now, do you agree with me that this indeed is a classic?

More: A classic baffling story part two

(Mohsin Abdullah is a veteran journalist and now a freelancer who writes about this, that and everything else.)

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