Nov 12, 2008

Tun Mahathir - ‘Hanky-panky’ in Umno deputy president race

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today suggested the Internal Security Act (ISA) should be used against corrupt Umno members. He also backed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the best candidate in the race for the Umno deputy presidency while suggesting that the other two challengers are involved in money politics.

PUTRAJAYA: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has raised questions over the credibility of candidates contesting the number two post in Umno, asking how a candidate with a “very bad history” qualified to contest at the last minute.

“There is a lot of hanky-panky. When you know someone with a very bad history is still getting support there is a strong possibility that money politics is involved because, somehow, someone has come from very far behind to catch up.

“At first, in the initial weeks, some people succeeded in garnering enough nominations while others remained at the bottom.

“Then, suddenly, nominations for these people shot up. Why?” he asked reporters after delivering a keynote address on “Bangsa Malaysia” at the Perdana Leadership Foundation yesterday.

There are currently three contenders in the deputy president’s race – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is leading the pack with 91 nominations while Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam has 47 and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib has 46.

Muhyiddin was the first to qualify to contest the post and Dr Mahathir said he believed Muhyiddin was the best person for the job.

On money politics, Dr Mahathir said the only way to clamp down on the scourge in Umno was to investigate all the names listed in the 900 complaints received and then have them removed from the party.

“They should be thrown in jail. That is a good way to use the Internal Security Act and not against someone writing some nonsense.

“Umno must be cleaned up. If not, they will lose in the next general election,” he said.

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