KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Umno members who "assist the Opposition" each time they voice their opinions should just leave the party, said the party's supreme council member Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said on Friday (Dec 11).
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said that any Umno member, regardless of their position, should be "gentlemen" enough to leave if they were not willing to toe the party line.
Asked if she was referring to former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin - both of whom have been outspoken critics of Prime Minister Najib Razak's leadership - Azalina said it applied to anyone in the party.
"It applies to anyone. As party members, we must be loyal to the party. We must never ever give strength to the Opposition," she told reporters on the sidelines of the Umno general assembly on Friday (Dec 11).
"If everytime you open your mouth and behave in a manner that gives strength to the Opposition, then I don't understand why you are still in the party," said the MP.
She urged such individuals to join the Opposition or become independents, or even offer themselves for a post in the next party election to see if members approved of their leadership style.
"If you are a party member, you have to be disciplined. Your discipline is staying united, believing in what's being informed (by the leadership) and take it as it is," Azalina said.
Datuk Seri Najib, who is Umno president, had hit back at his detractors in his policy speech at the opening of the party AGM on Thursday (Dec 10), saying that it was crucial for the party to remain loyal to its leadership.