KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today said he will resign from his post if ordered to do so by his party Umno.
He is the second Umno man in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Cabinet to make the offer, after Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
“If the party decides that all Umno ministers must resign, I will abide and resign,” he said in a statement.
However, he added that Umno members should focus less on clamouring for more power and more on improving the welfare of Malaysians facing the twin disasters of the monsoon floods and Covid-19.
“Umno leaders are entrusted to lead the Defence Ministry that is responsible for national security and address the spread of Covid-19; to lead the Health Ministry, which holds the main responsibility of leading the country’s frontline staff; to lead the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, which is working hard to get vaccine supplies as soon as possible.
“We should be committed in our efforts to provide the best service to the people. In my opinion, this is the hope of the people who are under Umno leaders. Not endless power-grabbing politics. In the end, the people get nauseous and lose confidence,” he said.
Hishammuddin added that in determining its political cooperation, however, Umno must have a clear direction, objective and reason when planning the way forward for the party, and that considerations should not be based on emotions and short-term effects.
“This is because the decision that the party makes will determine the rise and fall of Umno, affect the values and foundations of Umno’s struggle, and also the position of Umno in the next election. If the party decides not to continue cooperating with Bersatu, the party must decide with whom Umno will cooperate by GE15. Is it with DAP? Is it with PKR? Or alone?” he asked.
Hishammuddin said that with these factors in mind, Umno must plan its political cooperation carefully, “as the election is not tomorrow”, also reminding his party that Barisan Nasional (BN) only won 79 seats in the 14the general election, compared to 133 in the previous national polls.
“This means we lost 54 seats. We must repent from this experience,” he added.
Umno yesterday removed Tan Sri Annuar Musa as the secretary-general of the BN coalition.
Annuar has increasingly been seen to favour Bersatu and the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition over his party.
Umno has also escalated calls for a general election to restore it to what it believes is its rightful position as the ruling party despite the raging Covid-19 pandemic here and globally.
Clashes between Umno and Bersatu have continued despite their informal alliance to oust the Pakatan Harapan administration last February.
Seething at the perceived loss of privileges under the PN administration, Umno grassroots have demanded the party leadership reassert its influence to take charge of government again by contesting all seats at the next general election.