Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein(photo) has expressed fear for the future of the party if the current political crisis is not handled immediately.
He said members must remain united as the party was facing challenges threatening its survival in the face of the recent Cabinet reshuffle and 1Malaysia Development Bhd controversy.
"If we do not overcome this test and challenges immediately, effectively and maturely, we will soon become history," he told a press conference after opening the Ledang Umno division meeting here yesterday.
Hishammuddin warned that if disharmony persisted, the country might share the fate of some Middle Eastern countries, where conflicts contributed to the downfall of their governments.
He cited Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Syria as examples where public institutions, the government and the country collapsed due to continuous internal diplomatic and political misunderstanding.
"We cannot let the waves of tragedy that happened in those countries happen here," he added, urging members to put the party's interests ahead of other considerations and accept the Cabinet reshuffling responsibly.
He said party deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin himself had asked members to focus efforts on strengthening the party and also pledged to continue working towards the party's struggle.
"The truth is that Muhyiddin is still the party's deputy president and we will continue to respect him," he said.
He also expressed support for Johor Umno's 10-year plan outlined by state party chairman Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin as an effort to restore Umno's strength in the state.
"I believe any initiative taken in Johor during this time of political crisis will be welcomed by the public and that is why I personally support the efforts," he said.