KUALA PILAH – UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad no longer has any locus standi to suggest anything to UMNO members.
Ahmad Shabery, who is also Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, said this was because Dr Mahathir had quit from UMNO on Feb 29.
“Since he has left UMNO, I think it’s better he does not interfere in the affairs of UMNO,” he said when opening the simultaneous annual branch meetings of Kuala Pilah UMNO here Saturday.
He was commenting on Dr Mahathir’s latest posting on his blog calling on UMNO branches to move no confidence motions against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as party president and prime minister during their branch meetings.
Meanwhile, Kuala Pilah UMNO chief Datuk Ismail Lasim in his speech said the division stood solidly behind Najib as prime minister and party president.
In ALOR SETAR, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah said the suggestion by Dr Mahathir was aimed at bringing down UMNO.
“I urge all UMNO members in Kedah not to be tricked by this negative suggestion,” he told reporters after opening Kuala Kedah UMNO Wanita, Youth and Puteri annual general meetings today.
Ahmad Bashah, who is also Kedah UMNO chief, said he would be asking all UMNO branch heads in the state to monitor the situation because there could be saboteurs.
In LARUT, UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said UMNO members were fully aware that Dr Mahathir was motivated by revenge to bring Najib down.
The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister and Larut MP said the former prime minister would not succeed in the effort because UMNO members were solidly behind Najib.
He added that UMNO members would continue to give their support to party leaders so long as they did not go against Islam.
In KOTA BAHARU, all 14 UMNO divisions and grassroots leaders in Kelantan today stated their undivided support for Najib as UMNO president, Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman and Prime Minister.
The show of support was manifested in a declaration read out by Kelantan UMNO chief Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed before more than 3,000 party members.
Mustapa when reading out the declaration also condemned Dr Mahathir for cosying up with the opposition and coming up with the “Mahathir Declaration” in trying to topple Najib.
“This is clearly against the practices and system of democracy and disregards the implications on the country and people,” said the International Trade and Industry Minister and Jeli UMNO chief.
Also present was Ketereh UMNO head Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who is also UMNO Information chief.
Among others, the declaration also called on the police not to allow Dr Mahathir and his opposition cohorts to hold illegal assemblies to call for Najib to step down, and for UMNO to get rid of its leaders who joined Dr Mahathir and opposition leaders for the same.
Meanwhile, Annuar said Dr Mahathir’s call was not the wishes of the people but instead the former prime minister fell into DAP’s trap.
In KUALA LUMPUR, Wanita UMNO head Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abd Jalil said Dr Mahathir was now “clutching at straws” by directing his latest call to UMNO branches (to move no- confidence motions against Najib).
Speaking to reporters after opening the Kepong UMNO branch meeting, she said after the “Mahathir Declaration” failed to get traction and only resulted in UMNO becoming stronger, the former prime minister had become desperate and was now trying to reach out to the grassroots.
Kepong UMNO chief Datuk Seri Rizuan Abd Hamid urged UMNO’s Supreme Council to act against UMNO leaders like suspended deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former Kedah menteri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir for supporting Dr Mahathir to oust Najib.
In GEORGE TOWN, UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said all UMNO branches must voice out their support for the party leadership and defend the institution of the president.
Abdul Rahman, who is also Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, said this must be done because there were some people trying use the branch meetings to “stir up trouble”.
“The branch meetings have started, this is the time for branches to state the unequivocal support for Najib’s leadership,” he said when opening the Tanjong UMNO branch meetings.
In LABUAN, all UMNO divisions on the duty-free island today pledged to stand by Najib.
Labuan UMNO chief Datuk Rozman Isli said UMNO members must show solidarity so that the party and BN would win big in the next general election. – BERNAMA