PUTRAJAYA, Aug 30 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today denied that he had been threatened with expulsion from Umno if he refused to bow to demands from its supreme council to call for a general election this year.

The Umno vice-president described the atmosphere at the Umno supreme council meeting last Saturday evening as “mesra” — Malay for friendly — even though he had been the target of jibes and jeers from Umno grassroots leaders who attended a special briefing with party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi earlier in the afternoon.

“No such thing,” he replied to reporters who asked him for comment that Umno had been pressuring him and that he would be sacked as vice-president and even expelled from the party if he did not comply with the top leadership's wishes.

“Our discussion in the supreme council meeting was friendly. No issue. Sometimes, outsiders see differently,” he added after addressing civil servants at the Putrajaya International Convention Center here.


He maintained that there were no internal problems in Umno and played down differences of opinion as “normal” and to be “celebrated”.

Zahid had called Umno division leaders for a special briefing on August 27 to discuss current affairs after his predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Razak was sent to Kajang Prison last Tuesday after failing to overturn his conviction and 12-year sentence for embezzling RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

In his speech, Zahid had called for Parliament to be dissolved soon to pave way for national elections to be held ahead of the government’s term expiry next year.


Umno division leaders attending the meeting jeered when Zahid mentioned Ismail Sabri’s name in his speech.