An Umno leader today advised party leaders and members against calling for the resignation of Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over his suggestion for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to rethink his transition plan to step down by 2010 as the timeframe was too long.

Datuk Asa’ari Ibrahim, vice-head of the Bukit Katil Umno Division, said Muhyiddin was right in giving his opinion as an Umno vice-president in representing the grassroots.

“As an Umno vice-president and chairman of the party’s committee on the constitution, Muhyiddin knows that the decision of the supreme council must be endorsed by the party divisions at their respective annual meetings,” he told Bernama.

Asa’ari was commenting on the call by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim for Muhyiddin to resign if he was not happy with Abdullah’s leadership.

Asa’ari also expressed support for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s call for Umno members to be allowed to decide on the transition of power from the prime minister to the deputy prime minister.

Under the plan for transition of power, approved by the Umno supreme council, Abdullah is to hand over the post of prime minister, chairmanship of the Barisan Nasional (BN) and presidency of Umno to Najib in June 2010.

Asa’ari said the supreme council could decide on the matter but it was up to the Umno divisions to determine at their annual meetings whether they supported the decision.

“It is needless to create an uproar because the matter is in accordance with the party constitution. The supreme council does not have to stifle the decisions of the Umno divisions,” he said, adding that Umno must keep alive the spirit of democracy to be seen as a democratic party.

— BERNAMA