KUALA LUMPUR: Mr Annuar Musa has been sacked as Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s secretary-general, reported Malaysian media on Tuesday (Jan 5).
Mr Ahmad Maslan, the secretary-general of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), has confirmed that he is taking over as the new BN and Muafakat Nasional (MN) secretary-general.
MN is a coalition between UMNO and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).
The Malaysian Insight, citing sources, said Mr Annuar has not been toeing UMNO’s party lines and was seen to be siding with the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition led by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
There have been signs of a growing rift between UMNO and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Bersatu.
Over the weekend, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that UMNO and BN have decided to contest all parliamentary and state seats that they won in the last general election, potentially complicating negotiations within PN for seat allocation ahead of the next general election. Mr Muhyiddin had indicated that he would dissolve parliament and call for fresh polls after Malaysia overcomes the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ahmad Zahid also stated that UMNO and BN has never joined PN officially, and the support rendered to the present government only came from individual members of parliament.
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At the same time, UMNO is reportedly warming to the idea of cooperating with the opposition bloc.
Mr Annuar, however, is seen as a proponent of UMNO’s continued alliance with Bersatu and PAS.
Earlier this week, Mr Annuar reportedly said he would adhere to UMNO’s previous decision of not cooperating with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as well as the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
“I will defend the Supreme Council’s ‘No DAP, no Anwar’ stand. If they want to sack me, then, by all means, go ahead… If they want to back those who support (cooperation with) DAP and Anwar, then please proceed as well,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.