Zahid warns Umno dissidents to toe the line or face the music

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Going it alone in GE15.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has warned party dissidents to abide by the party’s decision on severing ties with Bersatu in the next general election.

Failing so, he said he would allow party delegates to take action against those who went against the party’s decision.

This was a clear message directed at another faction in Umno, some of whose leaders appear to be backing Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

“Some said I have used the veto power at the supreme council (which made a stand on severing ties with Bersatu). This is reckless accusation as there is no such thing as veto power in the Umno’s constitution,” he said when delivering his policy speech at the Umno’s annual general assembly 2020 at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur today.

“All the decisions made by the Umno supreme council are collective decisions. The decision (to cut ties with Bersatu) made by the supreme council is final,” he said.

“If anyone, be they those on the stage or outside go against the decision of the supreme council, which will be presented shortly (as a motion), I will leave it to party delegates to take action,” he said.

He pointed out that 124 Umno divisions had passed the motion to sever ties with Bersatu, while 147 out of 191 divisional heads had said they would not cooperate with the Umno’s splinter party.

“We are worried that if we over-celebrate differences of opinions, it may open up space to split Umno members; even worse, these ideas could give rise to tribes that could split the party,” he said.

According to him, an external attempt to divide the party has not stopped

“At the divisional level, the support of all levels of leadership is solid. Even if there is a storm, it is just a storm in the teacup that will not dampen the teamwork spirit in Umno,” he said.

“Let us close ranks. Discard the murky ones and choose the clear ones. Let us move forward. Umno, which was wounded in the 14th general election, needs to rise again; the wounded tiger wants to attack,” he said.

“They (Bersatu) harboured an evil intention to eliminate and replace Umno,” he added.

Besides not working with Bersatu, Zahid said Umno will also not work with Anwar or DAP.

“There have been no discussions with any of the parties, either formally or informally. We will contest using the Barisan Nasional banner,” he said.

He also said that even though there had not been negotiations with any parties, Umno was open to creating a ‘unity government’ for the sake of the country’s political stability and harmony as wished for by the people.

“Umno is very open to do it after GE15. However, first Umno must continue to be relevant and dominate the country’s politics. Therefore, we need to be dominant, then only we are relevant,” Zahid said.