KUALA LUMPUR: Former Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary -general Tan Sri Annuar Musa has claimed that only spokespersons appointed by the UMNO president were allowed to speak at the 2020 UMNO General Assembly (PAU) which began today.

He said in a statement uploaded on his Facebook page, the spokespersons selected (previously) was cancelled and replaced with spokespersons appointed by the president (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi).

"God willing, PAU 2020 (is) the most organised and shortest gathering. Delegates just listen in their respective sections.

"Only the top six (leaders) are present at the World Trade Centre (WTC) as spectators. The selected spokespersons have all been cancelled and replaced. Only people appointed by the (UMNO) president can speak," he said.

Annuar added that UMNO, which is now the government, needs to participate in the general election as a government and emerge victorious to be part of the government.

"As for me, I remained with the stance that UMNO must lead the consolidation and unity of the Malays and the Malay parties.

“UMNO must continue to be open and have the wisdom to negotiate until the last minute.

"UMNO, which is now in the government, needs to join the general election as the government and emerge victorious as part of the government.

“UMNO needs to be consistent in rejecting PH, especially Anwar and DAP. UMNO must continue to focus on the agenda of defending the people, especially the interests of the Malays and Islam," he added.

In fact, Annuar said, UMNO should avoid becoming a party that is increasingly divided because it will destroy the party.

On the other hand, he added, the party needs to demonstrate the leadership values of national and international quality and be convincing to lead the country.

"If UMNO is misled, chose the wrong formula to win, UMNO will fall into an increasingly marginalized position and UMNO's resurrection will be difficult.

"In fact, UMNO will sink from the mainstream of national politics.

“It is up to PAU to decide ... or in fact it has already been decided... just accept it," he added.

Meanwhile, former UMNO president, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak when asked to comment on Annuar's statement stated that the UMNO president has the right to do so.

"That is the right of the president and the opinion is shared, so no matter what, even if we do not agree, we have to accept the fact that is our system.

"The president has the power to determine the debaters," he explained when met by the media.