Former Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said a victory for Isa Samad in the Bagan Pinang by-election would translate into an endorsement for corruption.
“Much as the likely win by Isa would be welcomed by the leadership after the string of losses Umno has suffered, I am afraid what the nation needs is for Umno to lose again. This is because again we have fielded a candidate proven to be corrupt.
“A win by Isa would translate into an endorsement of corruption-as-usual within the party and the government that it leads,” he said.
“For the good of the party, the dignity of the Malay community it claims to represent and for the sake of the nationwide reform in governance and politics that we must undergo, it would be better if Umno lost today, and used the loss to begin internal reform.
“Corruption is the scourge of the country. Umno is a step away from being identified with that scourge,” added the veteran politician.
From the onset, Tengku Razaleigh had voiced his dissatisfaction against Umno’s decision to field Isa, the former menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan.
Isa was suspended from Umno in 2004 after being found guilty of money politics during the party polls.Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also unhappy with the choice.