Zahid: No serious split if Muhiyiddin sacked


(Malay Mail Online) – Umno will not suffer a “serious split” if Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal were sacked from the party, said party vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The deputy prime minister said the party had seen a split in the past when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked in 1998 but believed many members would now accept the decision of the Supreme Council.

“The party has split before but it later became one. This will not be as bad as the last time but we will have to work hard to fix the situation should it happen,” Zahid said in an interview with Malay Mail at his office recently.

“Whether Muhyiddin and Shafie are suspended or expelled, one has to accept the decision made by the top level. It’s not about an individual’s decision but one that will be made by the Supreme Council. The decision will be made based on what is best for the party.”

He added that party leaders had met grassroots members nationwide to explain the party’s situation and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), among others.

“We have been explaining the party and government’s stand on several matters. It is a little late, but better late than never.

“Information has not been channeled to the members by the party but by the media. We have since given them a clearer picture of what has transpired and why certain decisions were made. We have received overwhelming support by all levels of leadership,” he added.

He said the explanations had “brought temperatures down”.

Muhyiddin and Shafie were dropped from their portfolios following a Cabinet reshuffle in July. Muhyiddin and Shafie, the former deputy prime minister and rural and regional development minister respectively, had been vocal about 1MDB.

Ahead of the Umno General Assembly which starts on Tuesday, Zahid said the party must stick to the national agenda of achieving Vision 2020.

“To do this, the Malays must remain united. As for other ethnic groups, we will never deprive their rights. Umno will continue to help other communities.

“We see all communities as one. This is, in fact, our main agenda.”

On a lighter note, Zahid said he was a fan of British group, The Beatles.

“But I have to find a new band to like to stay relevant,” he said in jest.

On his appointment as deputy prime minister, Zahid said: “I never expected it. Now that I’ve been appointed, I will work hard to support the prime minister and the party.”