WILL ANNUAR MUSA DARE ATTEND UMNO’S AGM TOMORROW – WILL HE BE PELTED WITH EGGS & TOMATOES? IT LOOKS MUHYIDDIN’S ‘REIGN BY PROXY’ IN UMNO HAS COME TO AN END – WITH ‘TURTLE EGGS’ ISMAIL SABRI THE FIRST TO BEAT A STRATEGIC RETREAT AHEAD OF MEETING WITH ANGRY GRASSROOTS
The Umno annual general assembly (AGM) this weekend will see a tussle for hearts and minds as two competing factions try to chart the course of the party.
Ahead of the meeting, Umno’s Ketereh MP Annuar Musa has pushed the narrative that the purported overwhelming support by Umno divisions to cut ties with Bersatu was not genuine.
He claimed that a majority of them did so on instructions but did not disclose who it was.
But Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan dismissed Annuar’s optimism and maintained that Umno divisions are set to reaffirm the fact that most want to end ties with Bersatu in the next general election.
Ahmad also criticised Annuar’s apparent insinuation.
“The divisions were given instructions?
“By who? Umno is a very democratic party. If anyone does not agree, they will voice it out. Like Annuar, he can say what he wants to say,” Ahmad told Malaysiakini.
Referring to a decision reached by 12 Umno divisions in Kelantan two days ago, the Pontian MP also took a swipe at Annuar, who is the chief of Ketereh division.
“Look at the statement made by Kelantan Umno yesterday. From all divisions in the state, only Ketereh has differing view.
“From 14 divisions in Kelantan, minus Tanah Merah which is under suspension, 13 divisions have held their divisional meetings. And from this, 12 divisions disagree with Ketereh (which wants the party to continue working with Bersatu).”
Yesterday, Kelantan Umno issued a statement saying that it is giving PAS an ultimatum to choose whether the Islamist party wants to go with Umno or Bersatu in the 15th general election.
The Umno divisions also agreed in their meeting on Tuesday evening to sever ties with Bersatu.
Ahmad also believes that this weekend’s assembly would see Umno sealing its decision to discontinue cooperation with Bersatu.
According to him, besides 124 divisions that have agreed with the plan, there are many more supporting it.
Ahmad claimed that there are divisions which had refrained from proposing a similar motion so as not to jeopardise the political status quo in their respective states.
“I think this is what has been written on Umno relationship with Bersatu.
“If I want to list you the reasons, it would be a long story. But the main ones (behind such decision by Umno divisions) are related to the issues that the respective divisions have with Bersatu.
“For example, the 15 divisions where (its MPs) jumped to Bersatu. None of the divisions want to work with Bersatu. Another case is in Labuan, where the MP jumped from Umno to join Warisan. The Umno members there do not even want to have anything to do with the defectors,” he said.
Ahmad also said there are Bersatu divisions which were set up by former Umno members who lost in party elections.
“And there are Umno members who defected to join Bersatu divisions (at their area).
“So, how are the Umno members going to work with their former comrades who left the party?” – MKINI
Defence minister toes party line – work with Bersatu will end come GE15
Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the highest-ranking party member in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, is toeing the party line when it comes to Bersatu.
This means cooperation between Umno and Bersatu – which heads the PN coalition and government – will end once the 15th general election is called.
“In terms of ministers and MPs, those in government today will continue to support it until the election.
“(But) the (Umno) supreme council has decided our cooperation with Bersatu will end once Parliament is dissolved.
“That is clear. I don’t think anyone is questioning the supreme council’s decision,” he said in an interview published by Umno Online yesterday.
Ismail Sabri is the defence minister and one of four senior ministers in the cabinet.
His stance differs from that of Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa, who insists that it is in Umno’s best interest to cooperate with Bersatu.
Besides toeing the line on cooperation with Bersatu, Ismail Sabri also said that the party’s stance against PKR and DAP is also clear.
“No PKR, no DAP. This was also decided by the supreme council, and the president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that Umno will not negotiate with PKR to face the elections… I think that is also our decision,” he said.
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim is trying to explore cooperation with Umno, ostensibly through dialogue with Zahid.
However, Zahid said no such discussions have taken place.
Ismail Sabri’s remarks come ahead of the Umno general assembly this weekend, where matters such as ties with Bersatu, as well as PAS are expected to be debated. MKINI