KUALA LUMPUR — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must provide guidance on whether the party should keep up alliances that were costing rather than benefiting it, said Datuk Mohamad Hasan.
The Umno deputy president said this was obvious from the outcome of the 16th state election when the Malay nationalist party was forced to concede the chief minister’s position to Bersatu despite winning the most seats of any single party.
“As such, the time has come for the Umno president to offer guidance and a clear direction to the party and its members on whether we should continue our cooperation with our political rivals,” he said in a statement today.
Mohamad’s remarks today were the most patent so far on how some sections of Umno viewed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and the Perikatan Nasional coalition.
While the two supposed partners have maintained a testy and occasionally hostile alliance, neither side has openly described the other as a “political rival”.
Today, the Umno leader commonly called Tok Mat said what occurred in Sabah could foretell his party’s fate unless reversed.
“What happened in Sabah requires Umno to rethink its political approach. If Sabah becomes the basis, Umno’s survival, influence and visibility will continue to be threatened in the short-term, which will ultimately weaken Umno,” he said in a statement today.
If need be, he said Umno should return to cooperating only with PAS through Muafakat Nasional and with Barisan Nasional and its remaining components.
However, he said such a decision must be made urgently in order for Umno to adequately prepare for the 15th general election.
“We will be valued for what we can offer to Malaysia. Not how much sacrifices we make to a certain party or for the survival of Perikatan Nasional,” he said.
Umno and Bersatu remain cold towards one another despite being nominal allies in the federal administration.
In July, Zahid announced that Umno would not join a formal PN that has since been registered as an official entity.
He said then that Umno and BN lawmakers’ support for the PN government was only in matters of confidence and supply.
If their cooperation is maintained, Umno, Bersatu and PAS will have to enter bruising seat negotiations for the general election as all three parties appeal to the same Malay electorate and will unavoidably cannibalise each other’s support base.
In the nearer term, a review of Umno’s support for PN could make Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin vulnerable to Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s claim of having secured the majority to form the new government.
Annuar Musa denies Umno-PAS meeting called to discuss Anwar’s claim of formidable parliamentary support
PUTRAJAYA — Umno has no need to discuss PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s claims to have “formidable” support among lawmakers including those from the government’s side, Tan Sri Annuar Musa said today.
Annuar, who is also Barisan Nasional secretary-general, revealed that Umno and PAS will convene their regular bi-weekly meeting next week but insisted this was not expressly held for Anwar’s claim.
“We are going to have our next meeting on October 7 to have some discussion but not specifically on the issue of Anwar’s claim.
“I have got some list of Mr. so-and-so is going to support Anwar but when I called them, everybody denied.
“So I’m still quite puzzled with the claim. I even spoke to the (party) president, maybe very much on an individual level but certainly not on a party level,” he said, stressing that Umno has no intention to discuss the issue as it has nothing to do with the party’s decision.
He also called for an end to “excessive politicking”, saying this was an unneeded distraction to the country that was in a pandemic.
“As far as national politics is concerned, it is important to continue our focus on combating Covid-19 but at the same time pay attention in making sure our economy continue growing to recover the impact of the prolonged movement control order.
“We must work towards national unity, in that cooperation between political parties within government and outside where national interest comes first,” he said.
It was previously reported that the three main Malay parties — Umno, PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia — will meet this week to discuss on Anwar’s claim that was made before the Sabah election that he had secured a “formidable” majority with which to form a new government and declared Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal administration as having effectively collapsed.
However, Anwar did not state the number of MPs he claimed were supporting him, saying he would only do so after an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Though initially seen as a ploy on Anwar’s part, Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi issued a cryptic statement acknowledging support for Anwar from within his coalition and party on the same day as the announcement.
This prompted MN ally PAS to publicly demand that Umno and BN explain the matter.