Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki has accused its Perikatan Nasional partner, Bersatu of "stealing" and "buying" Umno members.
He then urged Bersatu to stop this practise if they intend to save the cooperation between the two parties.
"For the last few months, there have been many complaints and concerns among Umno members and grassroots leaders nationwide who claim that Bersatu is encouraging 'stealing' and 'buying' of Umno members.
"Some have admitted that everyone who joins Bersatu is paid up to RM100; every branch set up is allocated RM3,000 to RM5,000.
"If this phenomenon of 'stealing' and 'buying' of Umno members continues, it will confirm every perception and accusations all this time that the purpose Bersatu was formed, and the purpose the grand coalition Perikatan Nasional was formed, were merely to weaken and replace Umno," Asyraf said in a Facebook posting today.
The Umno Youth chief was responding to an earlier report where Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin had said his party aims to have 8,000 branches in the next three months.
Asyraf said Hamzah should not be making such statements which will further widen the rift between the two parties.
"While the Umno-Bersatu relationship at the grassroots level gets increasingly heated due to the "stealing" of members, the Bersatu secretary-general should not add oil to the raging fire," he said.
Asyraf said the parties should be trying to find common points of understanding and stop any attempts to weaken each other for the sake of the bigger agenda of unity.
They should also learn from the collapse of the Umno-PAS cooperation in BN due to an intensifying fight over members in 1974 to 1977 which caused such a huge rift between the two parties lasting decades, he said.
"Instead of spending all the party's allocation and funds to form branches, it is better to consolidate with your allies like Umno and PAS for activities benefitting their rakyat at the grassroots level together.
"What more, almost every Bersatu MP, including those who jumped from Umno, have ministership and deputy ministership.
"You should be focusing on consolidating all resources to help the rakyat who are suffering right now about their standard of living in the midst of this pandemic," he said.
Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan later said his party might consider legal action over Asyraf's accusation of the party "stealing" and "buying" members.