KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 – Umno members, especially in Terengganu, have been reminded to always be prepared to face whatever political situation besetting the party. Its vice-president, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said the loyalty of Umno members at the grassroots were being tested. “Therefore, the party’s interests should be above other interests,” he said in a statement on the current political conflict in Terengganu. This followed former Terengganu menteri besar and Kijal assemblyman Datuk Seri Ahmad Said and Ajil assemblyman Ghazali Taib announcement yesterday that they had left Umno and become independent assemblymen.

“Do not allow elements of destruction by enemies of Umno, from within and outside, to over-power our political judgment,” he added. Ahmad Zahid said Umno members at all levels should have confidence in the leadership for the sake of the party’s strength and integrity. With the decision by Ahmad and Ghazali to become independent assemblymen, Barisan Nasional (BN), which had 18 seats, including that of the Speaker, in the Terengganu State assembly, is now left with 16 seats, while PAS with 14 seats and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) with one seat.

Meanwhile in KOTA BAHARU, Kelantan Umno liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed advised Umno members not to be influenced by rumours that could adversely affect the party’s struggle. He said they should remain loyal to the party and continue to struggle for the people’s interests for the sake of the party’s strength. “We want to fight for Islam, our race and the country which supersede other interests,” he told reporters after a gathering with Facebookers and bloggers here Tuesday night. Mustapa, who is International Trade and Industry Minister, said Umno members should also submit to the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and not dispute decision that had been made. “As leaders, we must obey. Loyalty is important and should be made our practice, but if we question decisions made by our leader, the situation will not be stable,” he added.