Delegate booed after he criticised Dr M during address

Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
PHOTO: Reuters

A DELEGATE who criticised former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was jeered at by the delegates at the Umno general assembly.

When debating the motion of thanks on the presidential address yesterday, Datuk Hamzah Mohd Kassim's speech was interrupted by jeering and booing from the floor. Permanent chairman Tan Sri Badruddin Amiruldin told him to lay off the subject several times.

However, after a few sentences, Hamzah tried again to speak about the 1987 incident when Umno was deregistered after it was declared as an illegal organisation by the court.

He said when Umno was re-registered as Umno Baru, it was not the effort of Dr Mahathir, to which the crowd jeered louder.

Badruddin again stopped him and told him to move past the topic.

"Let the past be, we have moved forward.

"Leave the old record and start a new one," he said to cheers from the delegates.

Hamzah was interrupted when he tried to speak about the Sultan Sulaiman Club incident on Monday night where deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Dr Mahathir had delivered speeches.

He said when Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak delivered his opening speech on Thursday, his facial expression showed disappointment due to the incident.

Badruddin had to repeatedly advise Hamzah to change the topic and urged the delegates to remain calm and be patient.

"Tolong tukar topik (please change the topic)," he reminded Hamzah.

Hamzah also questioned the rationale of certain quarters who are trying to oust Najib, adding the party president was given the mandate to lead through a democratic process.

Badruddin then asked Hamzah to wrap up his speech, but he requested for more time.

"Please give me more time Tan Sri. The right to call for Najib's resignation should be done through party channels ... not through the dictates of a previous leader," he said.

Hamzah said things were made worse with the outright criticism and allegations among party members would only lead to a trust deficit.

"If the pot calls the kettle black and if the kettle does the same, the people who are witnessing this will conclude that both are black," added Hamzah.