Thursday November 4, 2004

Four Umno Division Heads Among 16
Members Suspended

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- Four Umno division heads are among the 16 whose party memberships have been suspended when they were found guilty of money politics, Umno Disciplinary Board chairman Tan Sri Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail said Wednesday.
He told a news conference here that the decision was made by the Board on Oct 25.
The four are Datuk Abdul Rashid Ismail (Jelutong), Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz (Wangsa Maju), Datuk Ismail Mamat (Machang) and Sulaiman Taha (Labis).
Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen said that the four division heads and 11 others had been suspended for one term while a member of the Muar Umno division, Jalaludin Kassim, had been suspended for two terms.
He said that a member of the Alor Gajah Umno division, Ahmad Amran Yakob, who had also been found guilty of money politics had been cautioned and discharged.
"As for Datuk Azman Shah Omar Shah (deputy head) of the Jelutong Umno division mentioned in the press (as also having been suspended), actually there is no such decision. As such, what was reported isn't true. His case has been adjourned," he said.
Six of the 11 others suspended are from the Jelutong Umno division. They are its vice head, Syed Hussein Syed Mohamed, its secretary, Abdullah Mohamed Shariff, its deputy permanent chairman, Abdul Aziz Shaik Meera, a committee member, Mohamed Shah Abdul Ali, Puteri Umno head, Wardah Abu Bakar, and a member, Tajul Arus Noordin.
The others are Marang Umno division vice head Datuk Tengku Zainuddin Tengku Zahid, Segambut Wanita Umno division head Rohani Abdul Rahman, Machang Umno division member Hamsani Abdul Rahman, Rompin Umno division member Mokhtar Mat Salleh and Lembah Pantai Umno division member Rusli Baba.
Asked whether all the seven from the Jelutong division were found guilty for an offence committed jointly, Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen said that they were found to have contravened Article 5 of the Code of Ethics on the hosting of functions.
"Looks like that was the case...they were all there together at the function," he said.
On the two-term or six-year suspension imposed on Jamaludin, Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen said that it was to commensurate with the seriousness of the offence he committed in contravention of Clause 2.2 pertaining to giving out money and also the hosting of functions.
Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen said that Astaman, who is also Member of Parliament for Titiwangsa, was found guilty of Clause 2.2 and Article 5.
Following the latest decision, the number of Umno members suspended, mostly for money politics, since Aug 4 is now 38. Twelve others have been cautioned and discharged.
On reports of violation of the code of ethics covering Umno members up to Oct 25, he said that 151 cases had been heard.
Meanwhile, asked on his reply as reported in a daily that he did not know of the suspension of the divisional leaders, Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen said: "We do know, but chose not to inform the daily as we wanted to be fair to all the media considering that we have already scheduled a news conference for today."
"What I did say was no comment when asked about the matter," he said.

Disciplinary Board Offers Immunity To
Informants Of Money Politics

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- The Umno Disciplinary Board Wednesday guaranteed immunity for informants of money politics, saying no action will be taken against them and their identities kept confidential, its chairman Tan Sri Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail said.
He said the move was among the board's efforts to clean up Umno from the menace said to be rampant in the party now.
"We've received complaints on money politics during the party elections in September but some of the letters, when we check from the addresses given, there was no one.
"They're afraid (to give their right address). That's why, we're offering immunity," he told reporters when announcing the outcome of the board's investigations carried out on Oct 25.
Asked on the fate of the complainant who also received money, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen said the receiver would also be given immunity provided he came forward to give information.
"I'd like to appeal to all Umno members, if they want to root out money politics, you must be prepared to come here and give us information. We're taking this matter seriously," he said.
Replying to a question, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen said there were also complaints implicating supreme council members in money politics in the September party elections.
He said the Disciplinary Board was investigating the complaints though the information and complaints were incomplete.
"We've received complaints but we must investigate first. We must confirm it," he said, acknowledging that the board's main stumbling block in tackling money politics in Umno was lack of information and proof.
Hence, with the guarantee on immunity and protection on members' identity, informants should not hesitate or feel afraid to come forward to assist the board to curb money politics in Umno, he said.
Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen expressed regret over the attitude of certain individuals who labelled the board as an "Undisciplined Board", particularly in addressing the money politics issue.
He said the board did not receive full co-operation from party members.
Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"