KUALA LUMPUR, 18 March 2009: Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said all party election candidates, including him, should be investigated.
The Umno vice-presidential candidate said if there was strong evidence of any alleged wrongdoing, then the action taken by the party’s Disciplinary Board and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency should be fair as their (candidates) credibility was at stake.
“I think all, including myself, should be investigated. But the condition is that it should be fair and there should not arise any suspicion that only certain candidates are investigated,” he told reporters after attending the Umno management committee meeting chaired by the deputy president, here, today.
Hishammuddin said the decision made following investigation should be based on strong evidence and arguments and reliable witnesses’ account.
He was commenting on the investigation by the Umno Disciplinary Board on two candidates for the Umno Youth chief post, party supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo and the movement’s deputy head, Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy was given a warning while Mohd Khir was cleared of any wrongdoing.
On the fate of party vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam who has been barred from contesting the deputy president post due to money politics, Hishammauddin said the question of whether Mohd Ali should remain as Malacca Chief Minister did not arise.
“This is because the action taken against him was under the party’s ruling. To me, the demand (for him to step down as Malacca Chief Minister) should not be entertained in the context of party discipline,” he said.
Hishammuddin said at the meeting, Mohd Ali who appeared calm and stoic,had stated that the party’s interest was more important than the individual’s.
He said this spirit had always been with Umno members and such an incident (breach of party discipline) had happened in Umno before.
“History has proven that in such cases, ultimately the party is the priority with members closing ranks and those who are genuinely sincere will remain with the party.”
Hishammuddin also said that he was impressed with Mohd Ali’s leadership among the younger generation of leaders.
“I am touched by his demeanour in this sad affair where at the same time, one cannot be above the party regulations and decision,” he added. — Bernama