Despite the overwhelming support from Umno Wanita delegates for their chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Umno supreme council member Bung Mokhtar Radin stood firm on his insistence that she quit her post over the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal.
Met by reporters on the sidelines of the Umno annual general meeting 2001 yesterday, the Kinabatangan MP repeated his earlier statement that Shahrizat should resign.
"My stand has not changed. We can't afford to have any problem in elections. I love leaders, but I love my party more. My stand has not changed," Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Daily quotes him as saying.
Asked whether he would accept Shahrizat's explanation at the Wanita AGM, Bung Mokhtar (left in photo) replied that the controversy was an issue related to the people and not him personally, and if the people were satisfied with her answer, they would accept it.
To him, regardless of her explanation, the damage to the party had already been done.
The outspoken MP was unsure whether the delegates have accepted Shahrizat's explanation but he is clear that BN and Umno cannot afford to carry any mistakes into the next general election.
Shahrizat, who is also the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, has been the target of the opposition, which claims that her husband, Mohamad Salleh Ismail, the NFC's executive chairperson, had abused the RM250 million government soft loan.
'Undivided' support for Umno
Meanwhile, Bung Mokhtar said he would continue to give his 'undivided' support to Umno, even if he was not selected as a candidate in the 13th general election.
He gave his commitment to support the candidate that would replace him so that the BN would continue to hold the Kinabatangan seat.
Bung Moktar said the support was to repay the deeds and sacrifices made by those who had supported him all this while.
"Even if I am not selected, it is time for me to support the candidate who replaces me," he said when interviewed on the "Program Kerusi Panas" produced by Bernama Radio24.