Annuar Musa today defended his criticism of attempts by certain top leaders of Umno including its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to quit the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, but said he is not alone in voicing opposition to such a move.
Speaking at a press conference a day after he was sacked as the Barisan Nasional secretary-general, Annuar who is federal territories minister said such attempts were at odds with his position as a Cabinet member.
“In Umno, there are many who prefer not to speak openly. But today and yesterday, I was contacted by many friends in the Cabinet and the leadership who share the same sentiments about what is going on.
“I hope and pray that they will play their own roles because the Supreme Council is the highest decision-making body apart from the Umno general assembly,” he said.
But Annuar at the same time said he understood that there are sensitivities involved among Umno members on its ties with Bersatu, the breakaway party co-founded in 2016 by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said his differences with Zahid on the future direction of Umno were due to his stand that individual interests should not take precedence in the party.
“Issues connected to personal matters should not be the main agenda. Prioritise the party and the people, not individual problems that should be addressed personally.”
Annuar said the Muafakat Nasional charter between PAS and Umno is not exclusive to the two parties, but was formed with the intention of cooperation with others for the sake of Malay-Muslim unity.
Zahid, former president Najib Razak and Umno leaders aligned with them have been urging PAS to quit PN, a call the Islamist party has so far resisted.
Annuar said there were individuals within Umno who had meetings with DAP leaders to discuss plans to scuttle the 2021 budget last month.
He said some of these individuals were in the party’s Supreme Council as well as in leadership positions.
But he said he has full trust in the Supreme Council, which will be meeting tonight to decide whether Umno should quit the PN government.
“I cannot speculate, but I have full trust in the integrity and wisdom of the (Supreme Council) members,” he said.
Annuar today also confirmed the authenticity of a letter from Zahid in October expressing support for PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim’s plan to topple Muhyiddin.
The contents of the letter, which was addressed to the palace, were first revealed by MalaysiaNow.
The letter was co-signed by Najib, stating their backing for Anwar to be the prime minister.