JOHOR BAHARU, Aug 9 (Bernama) -- The 398 Johor Baharu Umno delegates attending a division meeting here Sunday challenged Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to also sue them after calling him a traitor to the Malay race.
The loud cry in unison was made by delegates from 84 branches in the division when division chief Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad was delivering his opening speech.
"Let us all rise and say out 'Anwar Ibrahim pengkhianat bangsa' (Anwar Ibrahim a traitor to the Malay race) so that he can also take legal action against us. Johor Baharu Umno is prepared to face the legal suit (from Anwar)," he said, and the delegates did as urged.
According to Shahrir, Johor Baharu Umno and party deputy president Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin were only voicing out the feelings they had been harbouring all this while about Anwar.
"This clarion cry is what has been in the hearts of Johor Baharu Umno delegates and we are not afraid of facing Anwar who has deviated from the struggle of the Malays," he said.
Shahrir believed that all Umno members would be with Muhyiddin in the event of a legal suit filed by Anwar against him for calling the PKR de facto leader a traitor to the Malays.
"We will show to the opposition that Umno members are prepared to face them (opposition leaders) who have been throwing wild accusations against our leaders and members and defaming them," he said.
In BATU PAHAT, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said Anwar should forget his desire to become prime minister as he would not be able to shoulder the heavy responsibility.
He said Anwar's weakness was proven by his inability to effectively deal with the political turmoil and friction in the states controlled by the opposition pact.
"So, how can they govern a country when they can't even manage well the states they control?" he said after opening the Parit Sulong Umno division meeting today.
Mohd Shafie said Anwar was also facing a moral issue and had been making empty promises which could confuse and deceive the people that he had a lot of public support.