An individual taking potshots at two ministers, calling them "opposition assets" can't even win in a poll run by a "carrot", said de facto Deputy Law Minister Hanipa Maidin.
While Hanipa mentioned no names, this is a clear reference to Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, who had been sniping at de facto Unity Minister P Waythamoorthy and Education Minister Maszlee Malik.
"No matter how great he (Khairy) is, his own party had no appetite to appoint him as their number one leader.
"Yesterday I read the news that a party leader whom he labeled a 'carrot' and bongap (dense) did a survey about who is more popular between that leader (Khairy) and a former president, and he lost that too as of yesterday.
"I'm not sure whether he is an asset or liability," Hanipa said in a statement today.
Hanipa was referring to a Facebook poll by Umno supreme council leader Lokman Noor Adam, pitting Khairy against former Umno president Najib Abdul Razak in a popularity contest.
The poll has since been removed, but a screenshot posted by Lokman yesterday showed that out of 28,600 votes, Khairy only received 36 percent of votes compared to 64 percent by Najib.
A separate poll run by Wanita PKR information chief Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah also has Khairy trailing with 33 percent with 14,800 votes, compared to 67 percent for Najib.
Lokman had proposed Najib to become Umno's de facto leader, after president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi went on leave.
Khairy was baffled by the idea, calling Lokman "bongap" in response.
Hanipa quipped that Khairy may have finished last in the online poll if the contest was among four others.
In the Umno election in July, Khairy had come in second in the five-man race for the presidency.
Khairy had been taking shots at Waythamoorthy and Maszlee, who have courted controversies on a regular basis since their appointments.
Waythamoorthy, in particular, has been under pressure to resign following the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, who was allegedly assaulted in a temple riot on Nov 27.
The minister is accused of having incited the crowd.
While Khairy has been a popular voice on social media, Hanipa said he had no respect for him.
"I have not one iota of respect for any leader who can stay in the leadership hit by the 1MDB scandal. Sorry, but respect must be earned," he said.
Khairy was a cabinet member under Najib, the former prime minister implicated in the 1MDB scandal.
He only became vocal in criticising Najib and 1MDB following Umno's loss in the 14th general election.