PETALING JAYA: Umno veteran Shahrir Samad says there is a split in Barisan Nasional (BN) that can “no longer be covered up”, saying this can only be resolved in the next general election (GE15).
In a Facebook post, Shahrir said although Umno still has 39 MPs who were elected under BN’s banner during the last general election in May 2018, there were now three factions in the party and coalition.
“Cooperation at the highest level between Umno and Bersatu does not translate into cooperation at the grassroots level. It’s different down there.
“MCA and MIC, with their three MPs, are strongly supporting Muhyiddin Yassin’s position as prime minister.
“This is a sign of the comfortable ties the leadership of these BN founding parties have with the Perikatan Nasional government,” he said.
Shahrir was alluding to the cooperation between Umno’s “minister cluster” and Bersatu in the Cabinet and the open declaration by MCA and MIC that they were with the prime minister in the government.
Shahrir, who served eight terms as Johor Bahru MP, said that grassroots Umno members are keeping close tabs on the decisions that party elites were making, which included their open support for Bersatu and unwillingness to make monthly contributions from their allowances.
He claimed that many BN MPs are not making their monthly contribution of 5% from their total allowances of RM16,000, which amounts to RM800, as part of the coalition’s requirement.
“The grassroots are aware of this and are ready to see a new line-up of party candidates for GE15,” said the former minister.
“Our assessment is based on facts and recent actions of these leaders. Umno and BN are already divided at the top level, with each having its own direction.
“It can’t be fixed right now. But this will be corrected in GE15 as the grassroots members are still with Umno.”
Following a Supreme Council meeting on July 8, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that Umno would officially withdraw support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, with a call for him to step down.
Zahid repeated that call yesterday in light of the news that the King had not consented to the revocation of the emergency ordinances as announced by de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan in Parliament on Monday.