PETALING JAYA: For Umno to win “handsomely” in the next general election, the party should work with other Malay-based parties namely Bersatu and PAS, says Arau MP Shahidan Kassim.
Speaking to FMT, Shahidan said his view and proposal for continued talks between Umno and the two Malay parties in Perikatan Nasional is based on the situation in Perlis, one of the few states which Barisan Nasional won in the last election.
“As far as I am concerned, if we want to win handsomely, we (Malay-based parties) must work together.
“If we go it alone, there will be disunity among Malay parties and other people might take advantage,” he said, adding that there was nothing wrong with talking to PN since Umno was part of the present administration.
Shahidan, the former Perlis menteri besar, said he had actually written a thesis before the 13th general election on Fiji’s experience.
“They have a native population of around 60% and 40% Indian population. The natives had 16 parties and the Indian community had just one party, yet they won the elections and formed the government,” he said, alluding to the administration under Mahendra Chaudhry in 1997.
He said this led to unhappiness among the natives, leading to one coup after another. Similarly, in Malaysia, there was unhappiness among the Malays when a Malay-based party was not in control after GE14.
Shahidan said the views of some leaders claiming all Umno grassroots were against working with PN were not necessarily true as the grassroots’ sentiments in one state may differ with other states.
“My state is a winning state. As for the grassroots’ sentiments in other states, I don’t know. In Perlis, we feel we need to work together.”
He said any criticism towards his proposal should come from Perlis, and that criticisms from outside the northern state would not be “proper” as they had different grassroots.
“I want to win handsomely with a better majority,” he said, adding that in GE14, among BN MPs, he had the highest majority in Perlis and one of the highest majorities in the country.
Separately, in an Utusan Malaysia report, Shahidan was quoted as saying that Umno must continue talks with PN now that Ismail Sabri Yaakob had been appointed the deputy prime minister.
“Umno is aware that it’s impossible to win if they were to go it alone in the elections unless they work with other political parties.
“If we’re not with Bersatu and PAS in PN, will we work with PKR and DAP?” he asked, warning Umno leaders against lying to its members.
Umno has resolved against working with Bersatu in GE15 and is also against working with PKR and DAP.
Shahidan also claimed that only five of 42 BN MPs were aligned to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in wanting to retract support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
The other 37, he said, were in support of the government.
FREE MALAYSIA TODAY