Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took almost one year before conceding to the pressure by the supreme council to expel former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, said Tan Sri Annuar Musa (pix).
The Umno information chief said the supreme council had repeatedly recommended that the duo be expelled after breaching party discipline on numerous occasions, but Najib was patient and had refused to take any action.
"The Barisan Nasional later was faced with the Sarawak state election, but the two individuals continued to collaborate with the Opposition and went against the spirit of party solidarity.
"Eventually, Umno had to face the by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, which were very important to the party. But their attitude had not changed, and instead, became more passionate," he said in a statement here Saturday, adding that they campaigned together with the Opposition openly and "quietly" to defeat Umno.
However, he said, their efforts failed and the people chose to give Umno and Barisan double victory.
After the by-elections, as expected, the issue of violating party discipline again cropped up. The disciplinary committee submitted its findings on the case involving Muhyiddin and Mukhriz and found there was a prima facie case against them, but left it to the supreme council to make a decision, he said.
Annuar said although the supreme council had repeatedly urged the party president to take action against the duo, Najib still asked whether the decision made by the council was unanimous.
"Eventually, the supreme council made a unanimous decision," he said.
Annuar said no one should be bigger than the party, including former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself.
Puteri Umno also supported the proposal that action be taken against Muhyiddin and Mukhriz, as well as the decision to suspend the membership of vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal until the supreme council had received the report from the party disciplinary committee.
Its head Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said such action should have been taken a long time ago because they had done so much to taint the party's image.
"The move is seen to be appropriate as Umno is beginning to close ranks because if nothing is being done to overcome their action, it could develop into something more serious," she said. – Bernama