PETALING JAYA: Amid the intensifying infighting in Umno, former party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak has warned members that they will be punished in the upcoming party polls if they attempt to steer the party into supporting Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
Najib claimed there is an ongoing movement by certain Umno leaders to seize power from the present leadership, in order to ensure there was cooperation with Bersatu in GE15, despite a decision to sever ties in its recent general assembly.
"Whoever wants to take over from the party leadership, they must abide by the wishes of the grassroots," he said in a Facebook post on Friday (April 9).
Najib also reminded Umno leaders who want to “hijack” the party into supporting Bersatu that they are going against the voices of the party grassroots.
"Why do they want to support other parties that had grabbed many Umno parliamentary and state seats, including those in Sabah who jumped parties, disrespected Umno, frozen Umno's account and even tried to deregister Umno?
"Why would they want to support a party that clearly failed in economic administration and (the handling of) Covid-19?
"Why do they want to continue supporting a party that continues giving absurd excuses that Parliament cannot convene and democracy cannot be revived?"
Najib questioned whether the "scheme of things" to divide Umno had succeeded after many of its leaders were enticed by government positions.
"If these leaders want to go against the wishes and voices of the grassroots, then they will be punished in the party polls that involve 160,000 delegates," he said.
Najib warned that history may repeat itself, where in 2015, a faction in PAS resigned after losing the party polls and formed Amanah.
"They went against the voices of PAS grassroots and in the end, those who lost badly left and brought over seats won by PAS to form Amanah.
"That is my worry to my beloved party," he added.
Party sources have indicated that there is an ongoing movement to oust Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as party president, but declined to comment further.
"The situation is very fluid at the moment. Just be alert in the coming days, there will be some drama," said the source briefly.
There have been calls to expedite Umno polls by leaders aligned with the Federal Government while those aligned with Ahmad Zahid, had called for the postponement of party polls until GE15 concludes.
Calls for Ahmad Zahid to resign also grew stronger recently after a recent audio recording purportedly between him and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim went viral on social media.
In the recording, one voice was heard congratulating the other for putting up “a good performance during the Umno AGM” while the other thanked him.
Both allegedly discussed the possible resignation of Umno ministers as well as the exit of Umno from the Perikatan Nasional government.
However, Ahmad Zahid and Anwar have since denied the authenticity of the audio recording and instructed their officers to lodge reports over the matter.