PETALING JAYA,Mar 29: Umno minister Annuar Musa said there is no need for the party president to challenge a minister to resign, stating it may prompt others to challenge the president in return.
“If we have a culture of challenges in the party, it may prompt someone else to challenge the president too,” he said in a Facebook live event yesterday.
He said the president could use Supreme Council meetings instead of throwing challenges for any minister to resign.
Earlier today, Annuar had come under attack from Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who described him as a pest and a backstabber, and challenged him to resign his Cabinet post.
Zahid did not name Annuar. He merely spoke of “a minister who’s not on stage but who has stabbed Umno in the back”. Zahid said: “If he’s a man, he should resign as minister. This is a pest. If it wasn’t for Umno, he wouldn’t be in such a position.”
However, Annuar said Umno members need to respect the institution of the president who is elected for three years and it was not about individuals.
He said there was no need for the challenge as Umno leaders have called for everyone to unite.
Annuar also rejected the notion that criticising an individual was the same as backstabbing the party.
”That is different. Not being loyal to the party is different. Not being loyal to an individual is different,” he said, adding that democracy will die within the party if everyone was loyal to an individual.
Zahid had also said that he is confident that Umno ministers in the Cabinet remained loyal to the party.
Although Annuar was not named, there was little doubt about who Zahid meant. Annuar has come under fire from his party colleagues for being too PPBM-friendly.
Umno Supreme Council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi has previously accused Annuar, who is a former Barisan Nasional secretary-general, of being PPBM’s weapon within Umno.