KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 20 — Umno is not being sidelined by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said in a Facebook programme aired late last night.
The Keterah MP who is also Federal Territories minister dismissed the internal rumblings over Umno’s treatment in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government as the views of members with a “superiority complex” and needed to be kept in check.
Annuar said their notion that Umno is being sidelined, is a “made up story”.
“Why? Because sometimes we are still in this bubble or this cocoon of superiority complex. We still feel that Umno is like what it was before. We must be treated a certain way.
“We forget that we came from a party that had fallen and lost. We were an Opposition party and we built our strength in stages. It is a process.
“The question of being treated well or not, that is our decision. If we have the strength, of course people would have to treat us well, but if we are divided, we would feel we are strong, but we are divided. We flip-flop, or we do not demonstrate the characteristics and leadership which would enable people to respect us,” Annuar said in the programme hosted by Umno information chief Sharil Sufian Hamdan.
Shahril had asked Annuar for comment on his recent statements that were seen to contradict the views of other Umno veterans and which were seen to defend former party leader Muhyiddin who is now president of the breakaway Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
The Umno information chief also noted there were dissent within the party over its cooperation with PAS and Bersatu.
Annuar replied that his party colleagues’ dissatisfaction was that they were not given key positions in the Cabinet.
“If we want to negotiate, the party should have done it before the Cabinet was formed. But after the Cabinet was formed, why didn’t we complain? Why only after eight months are we complaining about us getting a good portfolio or not? To me that is a made-up story,” he said.
Annuar said that Umno has 11 Cabinet members, and it can still do what it wants in the government, questioning the need to create the impression that his party is being sidelined.
However, he said that he had been at the forefront of the election campaign as the PN coordinator and was the sole negotiator when the Sabah state government was going to be formed.
Annuar admitted that there were things which didn’t go according to Umno’s will.
“However, weakness also lies with us. For example, the position of the chief minister. Umno was offered to name an Umno candidate as chief minister candidate before the election. But we chose to name the candidate after the election. Why didn’t we just reveal it to the public then?” he asked.
“What I want to stress is, we have to look at our weakness too. If we want to hide our weakness and just go along with what others say, to me that is not responsible,” he added.
During the Facebook programme, Annuar also stressed on the need to make decisions based on the philosophy, policy and goal of the party’s struggles, and not base them on individual desires.
“Sometimes, a situation which happens, it is not Umno’s will. It was never from Umno, but because it is brought about by few leaders, or few people, or few individuals who are warlords.
“I do not fight using someone’s name or following any individuals. That has been my stand from the beginning,” he added.
Annuar said that he had supported Umno veterans Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, as well as its former president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad then, but when the duo departed from Umno, he did not follow suit.
“I am the secretary-general of Barisan Nasional, I have to uphold and carry the policies and decisions of the party from BN’s level. I am the secretary-general of Muafakat Nasional, I have to uphold and protect what was decided by MN. I am an Umno division leader and an Umno parliamentarian, I have to uphold Umno’s struggles and not what is being done by certain people.
“So it is here that I feel, and I have to openly agree, what I carry, my views on the critical issues concerning the party, I admit there are differences with certain parties,” he added.
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