GE15: More from Barisan calling for Zahid’s resignation

JOHOR BARU: The voices calling for Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s immediate resignation as the Barisan Nasional chairman are getting louder with more coming forward.

Johor Umno treasurer Datuk Md Jais Sarday in a stinging remark described the coalition’s dismal performance in the polls as the “sinking of the Titanic”.

“We sank because nobody is listening and it is being steered by the wrong person. It is time for the captain (Zahid) to go as if nothing is done, Barisan will sit at the bottom of the ocean for a long time,” said Jais, who is also the Kluang Umno division chief.

He stressed that Umno should not join with anyone as it would continue to be a minority government which would be bullied.

“We should be a good opposition and focus on improving and restructuring the party with renewed leadership,” he said.

Johor Umno secretary Datuk Samsolbari Jamali said that the party needs to be honest and not be trapped in a ‘denial syndrome’.

“Barisan and Umno is still the biggest party in terms of structure, organisation, supporters and machinery. However, it still fails to gain the trust of the majority of voters.

“I believe that Umno must be grateful for the support that they have from existing members. The most important thing is for Umno to prioritise on protecting the Ummah above parti or individual interest.

“At the same time, there is also a need for the party to be retrospective about its strengths, weaknesses, potential and real challenges. They must be honest and not be trapped in denial syndrome,” he said.

Pagoh Umno division Youth chief Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh also echoed similar sentiments, saying that the party is in urgent need of reforms.

Mohamad Fazli, also the state works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman, said Ahmad Zahid’s resignation would be a good first step towards that direction.

“The GE15 results reflect that Barisan and Umno no longer have the support of the Malays and Malaysians.

“Barisan and Umno are not short of capable leaders who can take on the present challenges and bring the party forward,” he added.

Also joining the chorus was Johor executive councillor Mohd Jafni Md Shukor, who said that Ahmad Zahid’s resignation is an early measure for the recovery of Umno.

“We accept this defeat and will reflect on our roles as leaders together. We need to be brave and make drastic changes for the people and the party.

“Many Umno, MCA and MIC leaders who won in GE14 were sacrificed because of the ego of not listening to the grassroots.

“With all due respect, I urge Umno president Ahmad Zahid to resign immediately as what Datuk Seri Najib Razak did in 2018,” he said in a statement.

Earlier, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi called for Ahmad Zahid’s immediate resignation as coalition chairman and Umno president in light of Barisan’s performance in GE15.