KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Former Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said that the Umno Annual General Assembly should not be used as a platform to call for the 15th general election (GE15).

Annuar commented that he had been left confused by Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan’s opening speech, in which he called for GE15 this year, saying Umno and BN should “strike at enemies when they are weak”.

“Things as big as this should not be discussed in front of the masses because it will create a difference of opinion and polemics.

“To me, the date of GE15 is the party’s strategy, (so) senior party leaders should not speak openly about it until they sit down to discuss what is the best route for the party,” he told reporters after attending the opening ceremony for the general assembly of Umno’s Women, Youth and Puteri Wing, as officiated by Mohamad.

In another press conference, Mohamad, when asked why he called for GE15 to be held this year, said this was what Umno should do if it wants to return to power.

“I am the GE15 elections director for the party. So what I said is merely the best strategy for the party to move forward,” he told reporters when asked to comment about the opening speech.

However, Mohamad also said he did not know whether his speech would be taken as a motion by the debaters of the assembly, saying that it was up to the motions committee and the Umno supreme council to decide what should be debated.

Earlier today, Mohamad said this year would be the right time to call the 15th general election (GE15), as the voting patterns of recent state elections suggested Barisan Nasional (BN) — a coalition where Umno is the chief — could win big.

The Umno General Assembly 2021 started today for the party’s Wings and will conclude on Saturday.

The party is currently riding a wave of confidence after its performance in the recently concluded Johor state election.