JOHOR BAHRU, April 10 — UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has admitted that there were differences of opinion among Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties but said this would not split the coalition.

Ismail Sabri said he was confident that MCA and MIC would remain with BN to help effect reforms to face future political challenges.

“I believe there are no facts to show they would not stay (with BN). Sometimes there are disagreements not only in UMNO but also among component parties. Previously, when we were the government, component parties had also issued strong statements but we did not break up.

“When BN was defeated in the last general election, many parties left us but MCA and MIC stayed. I believe they will remain with BN,” he told reporters after the Johor-level Bangkit 15 programme here today.

Several news portals had reported that MCA and MIC would do better with Perikatan Nasional (PN) as the two BN parties were allegedly fighting for survival under the thumb of UMNO.

Asked on calls for UMNO president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to step down for being embroiled in a court case and other issues, Ismail Sabri said it was not UMNO’s practice to prevent members from speaking up.

“Members can voice their opinions but ultimately it is we who will decide at the Supreme Council level and the like,” he added.

On the viral audio clip issue allegedly involving Ahmad Zahid and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he said it was best to let police investigate the matter.

The audio clip contains a conversation between two individuals with voices resembling those of Ahmad Zahid and Anwar, discussing matters related to the UMNO General Assembly last month.


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