Umno's Arau MP Shahidan Kassim, who is among the pro-Perikatan Nasional (PN) leaders in the party, insisted that Umno is "bigger" in the PN government.
Shahidan said this in an immediate response to Umno deputy president Mohamad Hassan, who in his opening address at the Umno wings' annual general assembly, declared that Umno had to play second fiddle in the government.
"That is the deputy president's view but the position now is that Umno has nine ministers. Including deputies, it's almost 20.
"That's bigger than Bersatu, bigger than PAS, bigger than GPS. PAS has three, GPS has three, Bersatu has eight, and BN has 11," he told journalists after Mohamad's speech.
However, checks showed Bersatu actually has 11 ministers compared to Umno's nine. Even if Umno's BN partners are counted, they become equal to the number of Bersatu ministers.
As for deputy ministers, Bersatu has 14 compared to Umno's nine. Bersatu previously had 15 but Shahruddin Md Salleh resigned in June last year and defected to Parti Pejuang Tanahair.
If the deputy ministers from Umno's BN partners are counted, this gives them a total of 12 deputy ministers, still fewer than Bersatu.
Previously, Umno had also complained that most of the important portfolios in the cabinet were assigned to Bersatu.
"The interpretation on whether Umno is dominant or not is something that needs to be discussed," Shahidan said.
Earlier in his speech, Mohamad said Umno had to "bow down" instead of taking the lead.
Shahidan previously also insisted that the Perlis chapter of Umno which he leads will continue cooperating with Bersatu.
This was after the Umno supreme council informed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu's president, that they will part ways with PN in the next general election.
However, Shahidan today said they will comply with the supreme council for now.
"If we don't follow, we will face action. Umno will act against people who don't comply with the supreme council's decision.
"For now, everyone will follow. On whether to cease cooperation with that party (Bersatu) in the general election, it's still far off," he said.
Shahidan questioned why there seemed to be an urgency to decide on cutting ties with Bersatu as if the general election would be held tomorrow.