Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa has stated that no Umno leader is being discriminated against, after dismissing allegations that the party has told 15 of its own leaders to “take a break” including Pekan MP Najib Abdul Razak and Sungai Besar Umno chief Jamal Md Yunos.
In a statement, he described the allegation reported by the Malaysian Insight this morning as “fabrication”, and questioned the portal’s motives for running the story.
“I wish to stress that such matters had never arisen or were discussed anywhere. No such decision had been made.
“No one needs to be stripped of their rights, but instead, we will continue to rely on each other and be in solidarity as part of the Umno family.
“Surely, certain parties had planned and arranged this nonsense,” he said.
Annuar said there is "no Umno leader that needs to be discriminated against", especially since they had been chosen either by the people or Umno members.
He said Umno would continue to be open, democratic, and inclusive, and expressed confidence that Umno would emerge stronger to face the country’s new political landscape.
Earlier today, the Malaysian Insight quoted an unnamed source claiming that Umno had decided that 15 of its leaders should take a break while the party recovers from its defeat in the 14th general election.
The source reportedly claimed that Najib and Jamal are at the top of the list, but declined to disclose the other 13 leaders.
The proposal was reportedly brought up during a recent two-day Umno retreat in Janda Baik and received support from a majority of attendees.
“Najib and Jamal topped the list. It is not about denying their contributions to the party.
“But, it is because they are not well liked by the people, following the opposition’s (government’s) character assassination (against them).
“They can still contribute to the party, but not at the front line. They should rest first. Otherwise, it would be hard for the party to regain support,” the source reportedly said.
Other matters reportedly discussed at the retreat includes a proposal to get rid of the tradition of appointing the party president as either prime minister or opposition leader, but no decision was made on the matter.
Another proposal pertained to party members who had openly supported Pakatan Harapan during the 14th general election. Branch chiefs had reportedly been tasked with identifying such members and submitting their names to state liaison committees.