Split within Umno, not loyalty to president will cause it to fall, says Ismail Sabri

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(Dec 1): Loyalty to the party president would not be the reason if Umno should fall in the next general election, said an Umno Supreme Council member, who added that split within the ranks would definitely cause the party to fall.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is also rural and regional development minister, said among Umno's principles were to strengthen the party by solving problems internally and remaining loyal towards the leadership.

"When we start going against the leadership, when branches start talking about the leadership, this will cause Umno to split.

"And that will cause Umno to lose," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.

Ismail Sabri was commenting on former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's open letter to party members, warning them that their continued support of party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak could mean the end of Umno and Barisan Nasional in the next general election.

He said another thing that would cause Umno to lose were if members were encouraged to condemn their leaders.

“Umno’s strength is when we are loyal and support the president’s leadership.”

Ismail said Umno leaders were not perfect like a prophet, who never made mistakes.

“All Umno presidents have made mistakes,” he said, adding that changing a leader would not guarantee Umno’s victory at elections.

“What’s important is for us to follow Umno’s principles and tradition.”

He said even in Islam, obedience was to Allah, his messenger and leader.

“This is the principle that we use in Umno. If we don’t follow the principles, loyalty to the leader, of course it will escalate the split and this will cause defeat.”

Dr Mahathir yesterday urged Umno members not to remain blindly loyal to Najib to the detriment of the country, even though they might be rewarded for doing so.

He said if Najib stepped down as Umno president and prime minister, Umno would return to its glory and BN would win the 14th general election. – The Malaysian Insider