This was announced by Umno Disciplinary Board chairman Tengku Tan Sri Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail at a press conference, here today.
The board, however, confirmed that the Malacca Chief Minister , who is also Umno vice president, is still a party member and can attend the Umno assembly as a delegate.
The board also found Khairy Jamaluddin, a candidate in the contest for the Umno Youth Chief, guilty of the same offence but gave him only a stern warning.
However, the board did not find Datuk Seri Mohamad Khir Toyo, who is also contesting for the Number One Umno Youth post, guilty of breaching party membership ethics.
Full Malaysiakini report below:
Ali Rustam barred from contesting
Mar 17, 09 11:29am
Umno deputy president aspirant Mohd Ali Rustam has been barred from contesting in the upcoming party polls.
The decision was revealed by the party's disciplinary committee chairperson Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail at a special press conference at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
The committee also issued a stern warning to Khairy Jamaluddin, who is standing for Umno Youth chief.
It, however, cleared another candidate, former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, of any wrongdoing.
In view of Mohd Ali being barred, the contest for the No. 2 slot will see a straight fight between favourite International Trade and Industry Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Rural Development Minister Muhammad Muhd Taib.
State Youth chief suspended
Over the past weeks, speculation has been rife that the Malacca chief minister's political ambitions would be dashed over his alleged involvement in money politics.
However, certain quarters claimed that Mohd Ali has been deliberately targetted since he was seen as being able to stage an upset.
During the press conference, Ahmad Rithauddeen announced the committee's investigations involving 29 party members.
According to him, 10 have been suspended for three years effective March 12 and four were issued with a warning.
Among those suspended is a state Umno Youth chief.
Ali's political secretary suspended
According to Ahmad Rithauddeen, action was taken against Mohd Ali after he was found liable for the acts of his agents.
He said that Mohd Ali's political secretary Saadun Basirun and two other agents were found guilty of being involved in money politics to buy votes.No other details were revealed and Saadun and the two other agents were suspended from the party for three years.
As for Khairy, he was also found liable for his agent's misbehaviour.
However, since his agent's offence was lesser in gravity than Saadun, Khairy was let off with just a warning.
Khir meanwhile was investigated for alleged money politics but he was cleared on any wrongdoing by the committee, said Ahmad Rithauddeen.
Ahmad Rithauddeen said that Mohd Ali was found guilty under 10.1 of the Umno Code of Ethics (above), which is the “presumption of guilt”. 10.1 is where is the agent is found guilty, and if there are factors stating that the principal is found to have knowledge and is involved in the issue, action can be taken on him under 10.1.
Rithauddeen further said that Mohd Ali’s agents are listed in the list under number four to six.
He also revealed that Mohd Ali was interviewed regarding the matter during the course of the investigation.
Rithauddeen also mentioned that Mohd Ali can appeal.
However, he refused to mention the timeframe for the appeal. He also refused to answer if a decision can be made before the date of the general assembly if Mohd Ali has made an appeal before the assembly starts.
Khairy: I respect the committee's decision
In an immediate reaction Khairy said that he respected the decision of the committee although "I am innocent".
"The important thing is that I have been just warned and I am allowed to contest. I am still going to contest," he told Malaysiakini when contacted.
He said that there was an agenda to stop him from contesting for the Umno Youth chief post.
"I know there is an agenda but I don't know by
whom and why they are doing this. I am maintaining my innocence," he added.
He said that he had presented his case to the committee and fully respected the decision.