He says the ‘court cluster’ is Umno’s last line of defence.
The “court cluster” is a derisive term used to reference several Umno leaders who are facing graft charges.
These Umno leaders are painted by opponents as being desperate and would do anything to save themselves from conviction.
Among the Umno leaders who have been lumped into this group, especially by Bersatu, is Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
But Zahid, who is facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering, is fighting back.
The term has been used increasingly, even within Umno, amid a split on whether the party should work with Bersatu in the next general election.
The so-called “court cluster” has been spearheading efforts to sever ties with Bersatu.
Zahid, in a Facebook post, acknowledged the attacks and gave his own label to opponents insisting on sticking with Bersatu, portraying them as leaders who fear losing their positions in government.
“They say the ‘court cluster’ must step back in order to save Umno. But most of them are part of the ‘power cluster’. They are anti-Umno.
“There is also the ‘cari makan cluster’ known as the ‘broker cluster’ that is further inciting the situation.
“But thankfully, Umno members and supporters can detect the deceit by these clusters,” he said.
Zahid described the “power cluster” as those who fear losing power and the “broker cluster” as those who fear losing their positions.
Several Umno leaders, who have been appointed as ministers, have tried to convince Zahid and his allies not to break up with Bersatu as this would set BN and Perikatan Nasional up for a clash in the next general election.
However, Zahid’s camp has painted these Umno leaders as stooges of Bersatu.
The Bagan Datuk MP said the “court cluster” is Umno’s last line of defence.
“The ‘power cluster’ and ‘broker cluster’ know this, that is why they are doing their best to incite (Umno members).
“They are trying to poison people’s minds to reject the ‘court cluster’,” he said.
Instead, Zahid painted the Umno leaders facing graft trial as victims, stating that any Umno leaders could potentially joint the “court cluster” in future.
Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan previously admitted that Umno was unhappy with the government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as he refused to drop graft charges that were brought against Umno leaders when Pakatan Harapan was in power.
However, Umno’s Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also the science, technology and innovation minister, said Ahmad’s comment was not representative of the party’s position.
Apart from Zahid, other Umno leaders facing graft cases include Ahmad who is also the Pontian MP, Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Pekan MP Najib Abdul Razak.
Najib in July last year was sentenced to 12 years in prison and a RM210 million fine after being found guilty on seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.
In December last year, Tengku Adnan was sentenced to 12 months in prison and fined RM2 million for graft.
Both leaders are appealing their sentences.