PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has urged party leaders and members to not defect just to save themselves from being investigated.
"In times of defeat, when it (the party) is down, there are still those who do not think about what is good for the party, but about how to save themselves from being investigated (and) how to ensure that they are not prosecuted.
"That means we are not steadfast because we think it is we who have to be saved first, and not the party," said the former deputy prime minister.
He took over as Umno (United Malays National Organisation) president from Najib Razak after the party's shock defeat at the general election in May.
Zahid also said that internal fighting would lead to the fall of the party.
He added that the ulamas had told him that Umno's loss in the 14th general election in May was a "cleansing process", Umno Online quoted him as during the party's recent Temerloh retreat.
Zahid said the party should instead use its ammunition against its enemies and not against one another within Umno.
Umno Online also quoted him as likening the current situation to history when "insiders" provided information to colonial leaders.
"Umno does not rely on one leader. Umno was formed based on a hierarchy and the performance of its leadership, and that is Umno's real strength," he added.
Zahid has been pressured to resign following an exodus of members, including MPs, from the party.
However, he said he would not bow to pressure to resign, claiming that only the Umno General Assembly can remove him from his post.