It’s the season for open rebellion in Umno, with clips making the rounds showing party leaders stepping up their criticism of their president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s handling of the recent general assembly, where delegates endorsed his persistent calls to cut ties with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
In one such clip believed to have been recorded just days after the Umno assembly, its vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob attacked Zahid over the way he had concluded the assembly.
“This recent general assembly is the worst. It’s the worst. The closing speech should have provided guidance to members on preparing for elections, as they go back to their respective states,” Ismail told a recent state-level Bangkit 15, a pre-election motivation event organised by Umno’s Training and Cadre Bureau which he chairs.
He also questioned Zahid for attacking Umno Cabinet members in the wake of the president’s call to cut ties with Bersatu.
“Not once, DAP was attacked. Not once, PKR was attacked. The main target was the ministers,” he said, adding that Umno ministers had considered quitting their posts in the face of labels thrown at them during speeches at the general assembly.
Meanwhile, fellow party member and Cabinet colleague Annuar Musa said he agreed with Ismail’s description of the Umno general assembly as the worst.
“And why not, because hardly 24 hours later a recording of a conversation surfaced to show that there is a teacher coaching the general assembly,” Annuar said, referring to a four-minute phone call between Zahid and his PKR counterpart Anwar Ibrahim, which was leaked on social media.
Annuar further said that the motion approved by Umno to cut ties with PN would now come under question, based on the revelations in the audio recording.
He said delegates had supported the motion based on facts available to them.
“Now, it is clear that the facts were misleading, their support is null and void,” said Annuar.
In the four-minute clip revealed by MalaysiaNow, Anwar is heard congratulating and giving instructions to Zahid in the aftermath of the Umno general assembly which accepted his proposal to cut ties with the PN government.
Zahid in return thanked Anwar for his moral support.
MalaysiaNow has been able to verify that the clip is authentic, and that the voices are those of Anwar and Zahid.