KUALA LUMPUR – UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, has not received any official letter from UMNO members who have allegedly left the party in Sabah.
He said claims made to the media that 1,500 UMNO members in Sabah had left the party and the number was increasing were exaggerated.
“Some people have claimed to the press that there are members who want to leave UMNO, as secretary-general, I have not received any letters of members leaving the party, disbanding branches…these are issues which have been exaggerated,” he said when asked to comment on the claim by former UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal that 1,500 members in Tenom had left the party and many more would follow them.
Tengku Adnan was speaking to reporters after attending the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations by Perbadanan Pembangunan Kampong Baharu at the Kampung Pindah field in Kampung Baru, here today.
Also present was Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.
Tengku Adnan also said grassroots leaders would ensure that UMNO remained strong and fought for the people.
“We are not an empty-vessel party and the people know that UMNO as the backbone of Barisan Nasional will ensure that the people’s interests are prioritised,” he added.
He said UMNO could face any challenge and resolve issues thrown at it even though these were lies.
On reports about former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is said to be the president of a new party which will be formed, Tengku Adnan said people leaving UMNO and setting up another party was not a new thing tob UMNO.
“Before this, look at the early history of UMNO, our president left. In 1959, Datuk Onn Jaafar set up a new party (opposition) against us (UMNO), and he lost.
“After that, there were others who left the party and set up new ones, including in 1998 when Anwar Ibrahim formed a new party, he lost too…and if he (Muhyiddin and his associates) formed a new party, it (their defeat) would happen again, this is all history for UMNO, and we will ensure that we will look after UMNO well,” he added.
Tengku Adnan also said all UMNO members must focus on the coming general election.
“I have said this in the division meetings and UMNO leaders at the national-level and myself will go down to explain issues which have confused the people,” he said. – BERNAMA