KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa has confirmed that the party has sued two of its former MPs for leaving: Masjid Tanah MP Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and Bagan Serai MP Datuk Noor Azmi Ghazali.
Utusan Malaysia reported Annuar as saying that the party is still mulling whether to accept the return of six MPs who have left the party to become independent lawmakers prior to the leadership change last month.
“I cannot confirm until everything is done officially, so to verify it, better to ask the relevant people first. For the time being, we have discussed it but there is no specific decision yet,” he was quoted as saying on the sidelines of the Cameron Highlands by-election campaign.
He said the party had yet to receive member registration forms from the six.
Despite that, Annuar said he still considers the six who left friends, and should they change their mind and decide to return, the matter can be discussed internally by the party.
“This is not a case of ‘burning all bridges’. We understand the current political situation and we cannot decide just like that. Even with long-time enemies like PAS, we could still sit down for discussion, what more former Umno members.
“At my level there is nothing official yet, so I cannot say anything. But in principle, the spirit of Umno is a party that is open,” he reportedly said.
Yesterday, Malay daily Berita Harian reported that the six MPs had succumbed to legal pressure from Umno after the party filed a lawsuit against the parliamentarians over their exodus last month.
It cited a party source who claimed discussions between the six MPs, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and the party’s Council of Advisors chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had already taken place.
The MPs, who left the party on December 14, are: Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (Larut), Datuk Rosol Wahid (Hulu Terengganu), Datuk Abdul Latiff Ahmad (Mersing), Datuk Shabudin Yahaya (Tasik Gelugor), Datuk Mohamad Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Sabak Bernam) and Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah).
Since June 24, a total of 17 MPs from the once-dominant Barisan Nasional (BN) component party have so far either pledged their allegiance to Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties or chosen to remain independent.
An exodus of Umno MPs from Sabah and the Peninsular took place last month, reducing its federal seats to just 37 from a total of 54 after its shock defeat on May 9.
Three of its MPs have joined Prime Minister’s Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), one has joined Parti Warisan Sabah and the remaining MPs who quit have chosen to remain independent for now.