KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Anina Saaduddin who shot into the spotlight for her vocal criticism and lawsuit against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been given the boot from Umno, the Malay ruling party’s executives confirmed today.
Rumours of her expulsion spread after a letter signed by Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor emerged on social media earlier today; however, the letter was dated September 2, which raised doubts as to its veracity.
“Yes, she was sacked,” Tengku Adnan told Malay Mail Online in a text message.
However, he did not elaborate on the reason for her termination.
The letter to Anina only stated that Umno headquarters had decided to terminate her membership with immediate effect under Article 20.7 of the party constitution for taking a party matter to court.
Umno executive secretary Datuk Ab Rauf Yusoh also confirmed the termination with Malay Mail Online when contacted.
“Her membership has been terminated because she violated the party’s rule by filing a lawsuit against Datuk Seri Najib… she cannot do that according to the party’s constitution,” he said, when asked the reason for Anina’s ejection.
Malay Mail Online was unable to reach Anina for comment at the time of writing.
Anina was the Langkawi Wanita Umno chief who first shot into the spotlight after a video of her tirade against Najib was uploaded online and went viral.
Anina gained prominence following widespread circulation of a 2.52-minute video clip last month in which she harshly criticised Najib as “urinating” on Umno’s three million members in a public storm over RM2.6 billion deposits into his personal account, which the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has said was a donation from a Middle Eastern donor.
Last Friday, she filed a lawsuit against Najib at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, seeking to claim a US$650 million (RM2.7 billion) portion of the US$681 million said to have been donated to Umno by a friendly Middle Eastern nation to help the Malay ruling party in its 2013 election campaign.
According to the filing, Anina is claiming that Najib had violated his duties as a trustee, alleging that the US$650 million was transferred out of an AmPrivate Banking account in Malaysia on August 30, 2013 into a Singapore account that “did not belong to Umno.”
She had also named Ab Rauf as a defendant in her suit.
Anina also sought an injunction order to prohibit Umno from “removing, suspending and/or taking any disciplinary action” against her pending the disposal of the lawsuit.
Umno legal adviser Datuk Hafarizam Harun had previously told Malay Mail Online that Umno members who sue fellow members or who go to court over party decisions risk expulsion as the party constitution prohibits them from doing so.
Citing the Societies Act 1966, Hafarizam also said only a “public officer” appointed by the Umno supreme council can file a lawsuit on behalf of Umno, which in this case is Umno executive secretary Ab Rauf.