Umno assembly lets supreme council decide when to withdraw support for PN

(Bernama) – The Umno General Assembly 2020 yesterday agreed to give the party president and supreme council the mandate to determine when the party should withdraw its support for Perikatan Nasional (PN).

This decision was reached during the winding-up speech of Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who had asked the delegates to decide on the matter at the end of the assembly held over the weekend at the World Trade Centre.

UMNO permanent chairman Tan Sri Badruddin Amiruldin then asked the delegates whether they agreed or disagreed with the proposition before a resounding ‘yes’ was heard from the floor.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid said that the proposition had been put forward by several state party liaison committees, which had debated the president’s policy speech at the assembly held in a hybrid manner.

“I am very appreciative of the liaison body chairmen, especially Kelantan, who have handed over to the delegates to determine the timeline on when we should withdraw our support to the PN government.

“So, it is understood that the delegates have given the mandate to the president and the Supreme Council to determine our withdrawal from the PN government at any time if they (the PN government) have no indication to (hold) elections in the near future,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said there was a possibility the general election could only be held once the government’s mandate for the 14th term ends in 2023.

He also expressed confidence that members of parliament who currently hold Cabinet and government-linked company posts will abide by the party’s decision to withdraw from the PN government.

“It means that if the withdrawal (from PN) is the party’s decision, they will not feel upset in resigning as ministers, deputy ministers and also GLC chairmen, as it is for the sake of complying with the party’s decision,” he said, while also pointing out that all of them were holding posts because of the party’s contributions.

The Bagan Datuk MP also asked Umno members whom he described as “party backstabbers” to quit their current posts.

“If there is anyone who enjoys being in an air-conditioned room with very comfortable chairs, they should know that they are there (because of the party), and this includes a certain minister… but one who backstabs Umno. If he is man enough, he should resign from his ministerial post. This is a destructive element (as) this person would not have even been in the ministry if not for Umno,” he said.

Earlier, in his winding-up speech, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said if the party chose to pull out of PN as proposed by the state liaison committees in August, then the party leadership should take a unanimous stand in doing so.

He said Umno as the largest Malay party needs to make bold decisions.

“Umno is like an elephant, we are big and we are the biggest party but what is the point of being an elephant if not a single branch snaps when it enters the forest.

“If an elephant enters the forest, it hits everything, if we want to hit, we hit and don’t mess around,” he said.

On the proposal for states to be given autonomy in GE15, Mohamad said the liaison committees should seek some form of flexibility for their respective states instead of autonomy.

“If we give autonomy to all states, it will only cause division in the party,” he said.