Stop dreaming, Umno’s doors closed to Bersatu, Shahidan told
PETALING JAYA: An Umno Supreme Council member has ripped into Arau MP Shahidan Kassim for proposing that the party keep a door open to working with Bersatu.
“Umno’s doors to Bersatu are closed,” said Puad Zarkashi. “A decision was made at the AGM in March and the July 7 Supreme Council meeting.
Shahidan, an Umno member, said yesterday that the party should work with Bersatu and PAS if it was looking for a comfortable win in the next general election.
He questioned if Umno would work with PKR and DAP if it did not tie up with Bersatu and PAS.
Puad told FMT a refusal to work with Bersatu did not mean Umno wanted to be alone.
But he added: “There is no need to cite the ‘No Anwar, no DAP’ issue. That is just a ruse to make Umno go on the defensive when we have never changed our stand.
“Shahidan should tell us why he can be gentle with Bersatu when there are claims that DAP has struck a confidence and supply agreement (CSA) with the PN government.”
He alleged that Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob was the one who revealed the matter in an Umno Supreme Council meeting.
He said Shahidan and several others should stop allowing themselves to be used by Bersatu, which is in a tough position after Umno withdrew its support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Puad added that Muhyiddin’s appointment of a DPM from Umno was an admission that PN needed Umno to remain in power.
“It’s not Umno that needs PN.”
Federal Territories Umno Youth information chief Wan Agyl Wan Hassan also hit out at Shahidan, saying he was “irrelevant” to the party.
“This is a man who is the PN backbenchers chief even though his Umno and BN are not part of PN.”
He said Shahidan, being a former menteri besar and former minister should realise that Barisan Nasional had enough experience in managing the country.
“I want to ask Shahidan which PN minister has contributed to the fight against Covid-19,” he said. “It is the BN ministers who are doing the heavy lifting.
“It is PN that needs BN and its MPs to survive this crisis. This government is failing. That is the fact. PN seems to be needing a lifeline and Umno should not oblige.”
Analyst Oh Ei Sun of Singapore Institute of International Affairs recently said PN had little chance of winning GE15 because of scant support.
He said Bersatu not only would be rejected by PH supporters but would also have to contend with Umno, which is riding on a momentum it did not have three years ago.
Another political analyst, Mustafa Ishak, said there was no guarantee that BN could win on its own because of divisions in Umno.
“All the BN ministers and deputy ministers have backed Muhyiddin, going against Umno’s stand, and according to reports, most BN MPs also disagree with the party’s stand,” he added.
He acknowledged that Umno was stronger than Bersatu, but he said BN and PN needed each other to form a strong and stable government, especially since PAS was with PN.
“It would be different if PAS abandoned PN and joined forces with Umno,” he said. “But if the Malay parties want to form a strong government, they need to put their differences aside and negotiate terms to establish a stable consociational political arrangement.”
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