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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Umno members who attempt to strike a bargain with Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim just to get a better deal in the next government are committing a “huge offence”, according to Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
Despite being from Umno, the Federal Territories minister had no mercy for his fellow party members and said those who fail to toe the line “must be held responsible” — though he did not detail how.
“The no Anwar, no DAP policy is a huge party policy. It is this policy that helped us to form the Perikatan Nasional government, because even Tan Sri Muhyiddin too is of the opinion, ‘no Anwar, no DAP’,” he said in an interview with Umno information chief Sharil Sufian Hamdan aired on Facebook last night.
Umno, the lynchpin of the BN coalition, is not officially a component of the PN coalition led by sacked party deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who went on to co-found Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and is its president as well as Malaysia’s prime minister.
However, some Umno lawmakers have been appointed to Muhyiddin’s Cabinet or hold government positions.
Despite this, Annuar acknowledged there has been internal dissatisfaction within Umno and some veterans have been vocal critics of certain government policies and proposals — the latest over PN’s Budget 2021 that was tabled in Parliament on November 6 and is being debated now.
He pointed out that Muhyiddin had been with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) until late February before breaking away and withdrawing his party from the coalition that subsequently led to PH’s collapse as a government.
“He left Pakatan Harapan because he cannot stand DAP,” Annuar said, adding that the same was true of Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali who was previously deputy PKR president.
“So, the no Anwar, no DAP policy was agreed by Bersatu, agreed by PAS, agreed by Umno, agreed by parties in BN.
“So it’s a huge policy, not a small one. Therefore, if truly there are covert movements trying to disregard this policy, to me, it is not me who disregarded the party’s policy. but they are the ones who disregarded the party policy.
“Rightfully, that is a huge offence and they must be held responsible,” Annuar said, without naming anyone.
Former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak revealed last month that he suggested to Umno leaders dissatisfied with the Muhyiddin government to work with PKR president Anwar with the condition that any cooperation excludes the DAP.
Though he denied that he had lobbied BN to support Anwar during the meeting between their MPs on October 26, Najib said his suggestion was for Umno to negotiate working with Anwar until the next general election.
Among the other conditions proposed by Najib in striking a deal with Anwar was for Umno to take on prominent roles in the financial and economic direction of the country.
The former prime minister had alleged that his former deputy Muhyiddin was not keeping the most senior Cabinet posts for Bersatu.
Despite backlash, Najib defended on October 27 his proposal for a partnership between Umno and Anwar, arguing that his party was able to return to Putrajaya due to its willingness to cooperate with former political nemeses PAS and Bersatu.