IPOH, Feb 5 — Perak Umno chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad urged members today not to treat as official reports that the party intends to support Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remain as the prime minister.
He said there was no directive or discussions at the Umno supreme council to form a political bloc comprising the Malay nationalist party, PAS, and Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu.
“All Perak Umno leaders and members must remain calm in the wake of the report.
“It is best for us to wait until the next political bureau meeting and party’s supreme council meeting which will be held on February 7, so that we all can be certain of the report,” he said in a statement.
“Each member has their right to voice out their opinions, but he or she should present it rationally and not emotionally.
“As long as the view is rational, I believe it will be heard and evaluated well by the party leadership before they make any major decisions.”
Yesterday, a Singapore daily reported that Umno may back Dr Mahathir to serve out his full term, purportedly in an attempt to prevent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from succeeding him as Pakatan Harapan said.
Citing unnamed party sources and a recording of Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Straits Times said the party’s top leaders were pushing to rally support for Dr Mahathir to stay in office.
Saarani said public disagreements over such matters would weaken the image of the Opposition and expressed his belief that Umno was remaining true to its original struggle.
He told Umno members in the state not to be emotional and allow such reports to cause disunity.