KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has had no effect on Umno judging by the turnout at the party's general assembly this year, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.
The party’s vice-president said the attendance at Putra World Trade Centre this week shows that many members are still loyal to the party.
“Don't waste our time thinking about them. If they really have an effect on the party, we wouldn't even be able to gather here,” Hishamuddin told reporters when met at the sidelines of the assembly, referring to PPBM.
“The members here won't be a lot. The mood and body language wouldn't be the same. This is not like in the past.”
The Sembrong MP also said looking back at history, splinter parties like PPBM usually are not supported by Umno members.
“History has shown from Datuk Onn, there are splinter groups that leave the party but Umno members has always put the party as the biggest priority as the focus. Same applies here,” he said, referring to his grandfather Datuk Onn Jaafar who founded Umno in 1946 but left five year later to form several parties.
“If they are unhappy, then leave. A lot easier for us to move on. Than looking at our backs.
“I've been through Semangat 46 and PKR. This is nowhere near, I feel. As far as the party is concerned. I come from Johor and been to Sabah. You see the mood today,” he explained, naming two of Umno splinter parties.
The defence minister reminded Umno members that this general assembly was to close ranks within the party and with other Barisan Nasional parties to prepare for the upcoming general elections.
“As far as party is concerned, we’re still intact but now let's get into elections mode and to make sure solidarity we see within Umno is translated to the voters outside,” Hishamuddin said.