Umno Youth has urged party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to go on leave in view of the fact that he is currently facing trial for various alleged offences.
In a statement today, Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki (above) said this was decided during the movement's exco meeting today.
"Umno Youth sympathises (with Zahid) and is sad with the many charges laid against the party president.
"We urge him to consider taking leave from the president's post until his cases have been disposed of by the court," said Asyraf.
He said Umno Youth does not consider Zahid going on leave as an admission of guilt as one was innocent until proven guilty.
"On the contrary, (Zahid) should be given the opportunity to focus his efforts on clearing his name," Asyraf said.
He added that Umno Youth believed Zahid deserve a fair trial and not a trial by media.
On Oct 19, prosecutors charged Zahid with a combined 45 counts of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and receiving gratification.
Top Umno leaders have been publicly debating whether Zahid should go on leave for now following this.
Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan argued that this was necessary to protect the party's image.
Zahid, however, does not appear to be entertaining the idea of going on leave.
When a reporter asked him two days ago if he was doing so, Zahid replied: "What right do you have to ask this question?"