Recent acts of violence by a small portion of Umno members do not reflect the entire party, the party’s supreme council member Nazri Abdul Aziz said today.
"We don't endorse violence. Take Pasir Salak Umno and the red-shirts for example, there about a hundred of them, but we have three million Umno members.
"Can we say they represent Umno's culture? Of course not... millions more were not involved. You can't judge Umno based on the actions of a few," Nazri, who is tourism and culture minister, told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said this in response to questions on the attack on Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad at Parliament grounds last Thursday and the attack on cartoonist Zunar's exhibition in Penang last Friday.
Nazri said members of the public know how to differentiate between the party and those who participated in those attacks.
"Let's not look down on the people's ability to think for themselves. They won't punish all Umno members. I am confident of that," he said.
The minister also said that the prospects of Muhyiddin Yassin and Shafie Apdal returning to Umno's fold was not impossible.
He said anything was possible in Malaysian politics, as even former enemies such as Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Lim Kit Siang could now work together.
"Anything can happen. I foresee them (Muhyiddin and Shafie) hugging (us again) in five years," he said.
Citing the now-defunct Semangat 46 as an example, Nazri said former splinter groups tended to return Umno.
"(Splinter parties) usually become a party for personalities without a (core) struggle. The only struggle (for Muhyiddin and Shafie) is their hatred towards the prime minister (Najib Abdul Razak).
"I am absolutely not worried about Umno members leaving for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in large numbers. If we look at past examples, (splinter parties) end up being buried," Nazri said.-Mkini