With war drums at their loudest against the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, there is strong speculation that top party leaders aligned with their president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi are mulling drastic action tonight to purge the party of those critical of him.
This comes as top party leaders meet tonight ahead of the climax of the Umno general assembly tomorrow.
The Umno Supreme Council traditionally meets the day before the presidential address.
MalaysiaNow understands that the “drastic action” would be in the form of sacking two vocal veteran leaders from the party.
When asked about the identities of the duo, a source close to the top leadership said “it is an open secret”.
“And if they are indeed sacked in time for Zahid’s presidential address tomorrow, it will be shocking but not surprising,” the source told MalaysiaNow.
Another source however dismissed the talk as mere “rumours”.
“Rumours are a common feature at PWTC every time Umno gathers,” the source said, referring to the Putra World Trade Centre where Umno leaders are currently gathering.
Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa and Perlis Umno chief Shahidan Kassim have been among the most vocal against Zahid, in the wake of the party president’s calls to cut ties with Bersatu at the next general election.
“Rumours are a common feature at PWTC every time Umno gathers.”
Annuar recently fell out with Zahid over the latter’s support for PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim’s bid to engineer defections to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Shahidan meanwhile has threatened that Perlis Umno will break ranks with the central Umno leadership should the party decide to sever ties with Bersatu.
Zahid and scandal-tainted former prime minister Najib Razak have stepped up their criticism of Muhyiddin, accusing the former Umno deputy president of sidelining Umno for key posts in the government.
A key motion being put to delegates at the ongoing general assembly is whether Umno should cut ties with Bersatu, which could see the two Malay parties clashing for seats in the next general election.
That scenario has prompted PAS, an ally to both Umno and Bersatu, to repeatedly offer itself as a peacemaker.
In the past, the Umno Supreme Council has summarily sacked senior leaders without a disciplinary hearing process.
These leaders include Muhyiddin and Jerlun MP Mukhriz Mahathir, who were expelled from Umno in 2016 following their criticism of Najib over the 1MDB scandal.
Anwar was the other Umno deputy president who was summarily expelled from Umno a day after he was sacked from the government in 1998.