Sacked BN secretary-general Annuar Musa said his boss Ahmad Zahid Hamidi may not be in the "right frame of mind" due to the criminal charges against him.
Annuar said this during an interview when asked how the slew of graft charges against the BN chairperson is affecting him.
Zahid, who is also the Umno president and Bagan Datuk MP, had been rallying the party against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's government, even though they are part of the same Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition government.
"Yes, maybe (the charges brought against Zahid became his weakness). Maybe also because of the pressures he faced from the prosecution and as a consequence, sometimes he wasn't in the right frame of mind. I don't know," Annuar said in an interview in the programme Kerusi Panas on TV Pertiwi last night.
"But he has the strength to face the matter now, and I pray that he will continue to have the strength to face his court cases," he said.
Last Wednesday, Annuar accused Zahid of using the party for his personal interest, one day after his removal as BN secretary-general. However, Annuar did not make his accusation clear.
Some see Annuar’s accusation as a veiled reference to the fact that the present government did not drop corruption charges against the Umno president, which was initiated by the previous federal administration.
Annuar also alleged that Zahid supported PKR president Anwar Ibrahim's bid to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and accused Zahid of consorting with DAP in a bid to form a new political alignment.
While stressing this wasn't in line with the party's position, Annuar did not question if Zahid is still fit to lead Umno.
"He was elected as the party president and it wasn't easy to be an Umno president. For me, it is not appropriate to dispute his eligibility as the party president. He made lots of achievements during his tenure as the party chief, but he was not perfect. He has certain weaknesses and it's up to him to both control and manage his strength and weaknesses," Annuar said.
He noted that Umno, which has been championing the Malay and the Islam causes, was not doing enough when it was with the government.
Annuar, who is the Ketereh MP, downplayed the split in Umno as both sides having a difference of opinions.
He noted that he was sacked probably because Zahid no longer trusted him as a BN secretary-general after he was seen as a pro-Bersatu and pro-Muhyiddin leader.
'All cabinet members have been working as a team'
In his explanation, Annuar said all the cabinet members have been working as a team or as a party, irrespective of their political affiliations even if they come from 12 political parties and two-thirds of the members are not members of PN parties.
He cautioned Umno of the consequence of threatening the PN administration with individual MPs from Umno withdrawing support from the ruling coalition.
"They felt they can take advantage of the situation because the government has only a slim majority. They think that they have the bargaining power and the government may fall once they withdraw their support.
"Well, this is merely their opinion. But, there are five options to choose from (by Muhyiddin)," Annuar said.
Firstly, he said, Umno needs to be certain how other opposition parties would react and whom Warisan, Pejuang and Muda support as the prime minister, as Umno may not secure an adequate number to force a snap election if it fails to do so.
"Secondly, many are not joining the government because they are mad at certain individuals. If the individuals quit, then others may be ready to join," he said.
The government could also seek a royal proclamation for a state of emergency when political stability, public order and safety are at stake.
"Do not think that when we threaten the government, we can assume that the government will fall. We must be careful," Annuar said.
Apart from that, Muhyiddin could resign as prime minister or he could dissolve Parliament to prepare for a snap election, he added.