PETALING JAYA: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has the right to determine the direction of the party, an Umno division leader said.
Tambun Umno chief Aminuddin Md Hanafiah said although the party and Barisan Nasional had adopted a “No Anwar, No DAP” stance before the general election, Umno had to “go against the grain” when abiding by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree for BN to be a part of the Anwar Ibrahim-led unity government.
“As party leader, Zahid has the right to determine the direction of the party, be it good or not.
“If we refused to listen to the order of the Agong, we still wouldn’t have a government,” Aminuddin told FMT.
Yesterday, Zahid, who is also the BN chairman, said the “No Anwar, No DAP” principle was not applicable post-GE15.
While BN had rejected working with Anwar and PH and Perikatan Nasional lynchpin Bersatu before the general election, he said, the cooperation after the polls was intended to bring about stability and ensuring the welfare of the people was taken care of.
Aminuddin said the Umno grassroots had no issues with Zahid’s leadership and did not feel deceived by BN’s cooperation with PH.
He said that although both the Umno and BN supreme councils had initially decided to remain in the opposition after the election results, a “concession” had to be made to resolve the political impasse.
Shah Alam Umno chief Azhari Shaari echoed Aminuddin’s remarks, saying the decision not to work with Anwar and PH previously was based on the situation at the time. However, he said, the circumstances had changed.
Batu Umno chief Yahaya Mat Ghani also urged all party members to comply with the King’s order to be a part of the unity government, and to refrain from criticising Umno’s top leadership.
“We must close ranks and be united. How else are we going to get through the next five years?” he said in reference to the new government’s five-year term.