Umno president says party can quit govt anytime if elections not called soon.
UMNO AGM | Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party’s ministers can quit the government at any time, after the general assembly empowered him and the supreme council to decide on an exit date.
Meanwhile, Zahid also challenged a “parasite” to resign as minister – in a clear rebuke to Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa.
Speaking on an exit timeline, Zahid said Umno will make a withdrawal if Bersatu decides not to call for a general election until the current Parliament’s term ends in 2023.
“We can pull out at anytime from the PN government if they don’t give an indication that the elections will be held soon,” he said in his closing speech at the Umno annual general assembly.
He said if the supreme council decides that it is time to quit, he was confident that “100 percent” of Umno ministers, deputy ministers, and government-linked companies (GLC) bosses will quit, while MPs will withdraw support.
However, he indicated there may be one outlier.
“If there is any of them that is too comfortable… including a minister who is not on (the AGM) stage but stabs Umno from the back.
“If he is an anak jantan (man) he should resign as a minister. This is a parasite.
“If not for Umno, it is not possible for him to be in that ministry,” he said.
While he mentioned no names, this is clearly aimed at Annuar – who is the only minister who has openly spoken out against Umno cutting ties with Bersatu.
Annuar had also been vocal in criticising Zahid for allegedly trying to align the party with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, a claim the party president denies.
At a press conference later, Zahid was asked why he did not just sack Annuar from the party.
However, he said this was not up to him.
“This is not up to the president but the disciplinary board, which will look into the matter before bringing it to the supreme council,” he told reporters.
Earlier, Zahid had an overwhelming show of support for a motion to empower him and the supreme council to decide when they would leave the PN government.
Umno previously stated that it would stay in the government until Parliament is dissolved.
Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan in his speech prior to Zahid’s, indicated that the preliminary exit timeline is in August – which is when the state of emergency comes to an end.