JOHOR BARU: Umno should allow Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Datuk Maulizan Bujang to appeal their suspensions, says Johor party chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

While Johor Umno respects the party’s decision, he said, they also want the two state leaders to be allowed to appeal their suspensions.

“We expressed sadness over what happened, especially as it involved two leaders whose contributions to Johor Umno cannot be denied.

“Johor Umno agreed that Hishammuddin and Maulizan should be given a chance to appeal the suspension imposed on them,” he said in a press conference after chairing a special two-hour Johor Umno meeting here yesterday.

Hishammuddin is the current Sembrong MP, while Maulizan was a former Johor state exco member and Tebrau Umno division chief.

Mohamed Khaled, however, said the disciplinary action and suspension would not affect Johor Umno, as similar actions had been taken against other state leaders.

The Kota Tinggi MP, who is also the Higher Education Minister, said individuals who were subjected to such disciplinary action should not give up and should appeal with the hope that their suspension period could be shortened.

“This is not the first time Johor Umno leaders have been suspended or subjected to disciplinary action. We have been through this before but Umno continues to carry out its responsibilities and move forward.

“Some of those who were subjected to similar action and have returned to Umno include Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad and Muszaidi Makmor, who is now the Kota Tinggi division chief.

“We believe if efforts are made, the suspensions can be shortened, as what happened to Datuk Lokman Noor Adam.

“We must not despair, because it is not the end of a political career,” he said.

Also suspended for six years following a supreme council meeting on Jan 27 are former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan, former Youth exco member Datuk Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahya and former Jempol MP Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Mohd Shariff.

Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and former Selangor Umno chief Tan Sri Noh Omar were sacked.