Door open for Idris to make return to Umno fold, says Armand Azha

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KUALA LUMPUR – Sacked Umno member Datuk Seri Idris Haron may have overplayed his hands that resulted in the Melaka political crisis, but he could yet make a sensational return to the party.

An Umno Supreme Council member told The Vibes that the pathway for the former Sg Udang assemblyman to return remains open, granted he is sincere about strengthening the party and ensuring stability in the state.

Speaking to The Vibes, Datuk Armand Azha Abu Hanifah, who is also Subang Umno chief, said the party always leaves its doors open for any former member to rejoin, a stand similarly expressed by president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi earlier this week.

“This is what we should be looking at. We always provide a space for former members to come back,” he said today, when asked if Idris will be welcomed back if all quarters can come to a compromise.

“I ask that Idris and the three other assemblymen who withdrew their support for the state leadership to sit down and discuss the matter for the sake of the rakyat.

“If this can be accomplished in the near future, I think the people of Melaka will be happy and approve of their conciliatory approach.”

On Monday, Datuk Seri Idris Haron led three other Melaka assemblymen to withdraw their support for the Melaka chief minister, citing a loss of confidence over his handling of the state government. – Bernama pic, October 9, 2021
On Monday, Datuk Seri Idris Haron led three other Melaka assemblymen to withdraw their support for the Melaka chief minister, citing a loss of confidence over his handling of the state government. – Bernama pic, October 9, 2021

If this were to happen, Idris would not be the first sacked Umno leader to return to the party. Just recently, Datuk Lokman Noor Adam returned to Umno after his membership was revoked in February last year.

On Monday, Idris led three other Melaka assemblymen to withdraw their support for chief minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, citing a loss of confidence over his handling of the state government.

This resulted in the dissolution of the legislative assembly, with the state to face a snap election within 60 days.

It is rumoured that moves are abound to get the four assemblymen to join Pakatan Harapan (PH), with meetings being held between them and the PKR’s top leadership in recent days.

Yesterday, Idris also indicated his willingness to join PH and possibly lead the coalition as its candidate for chief minister.

According to Armand Azha, the Umno Supreme Council is set to hold discussions over the state political crisis in a meeting next Wednesday, when the party will try to find a “win-win situation” for all quarters involved.

Early indications point to Umno possibly pushing for a statewide emergency, similar to the one currently imposed on Sarawak.

On whether the decision to advise Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam to dissolve the state assembly was wise, Armand Azha said this is done according to the constitution after the chief minister lost majority support.

Armand Azha also brushed off rumours that Idris and Zahid had a fallout since the 2018 general election, and that this had caused the crisis in the state.

He, instead, insists that Zahid is committed to ensuring stability.

There has been speculation that Idris was influenced by certain members of Melaka Umno to cooperate with PH to topple Sulaiman, and that Idris was of the belief this would persuade Zahid to nominate him as the new chief minister to avoid a political crisis.

However, Idris was instead sacked from the party, a decision he presumably did not expect. – The Vibes, October 9, 2021

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