KUALA LUMPUR – Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the party must continue to work closely with PAS to ensure that the two largest Malay-Muslim parties in the country do not clash in the upcoming 15th general election (GE15).
He also said that although Umno is not cooperating with Bersatu in the polls, the Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin party could negotiate the matter in the future.
The Pontian MP, who is also the BN secretary-general, said he hoped that the leaderships of both Umno and PAS can ensure the continuation of their Muafakat Nasional (MN) pact.
Ahmad, however, said Umno might not be able to avoid conflict with Bersatu under its president and current Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“We hope there will not be a clash between Umno and PAS. But as for Umno and Bersatu…we will keep that in view for now,” he said.
Ahmad was speaking to reporters before attending the Muafakat Nasional’s negotiations task force meeting chaired by Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man at the Umno headquarters in Menara Dato Onn here this evening.
“At the moment, it is true that we don’t have a relationship with Bersatu. But it is a matter we can bring up later. What’s important is that Umno and PAS are not divided first,” Ahmad said.
He added that despite Umno and Bersatu being at loggerheads, Umno respects PAS’ decision to currently work alongside Bersatu under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) banner.
Ahmad said Umno will not attempt to influence the decisions or policies of other parties, and that it was PAS’ right to work with Bersatu.
He also said the matter is not related to Umno’s desire to consolidate its relationship with PAS.
“The relationship with Umno and PAS started earlier, beginning in 2018. And in 2019 we had formed MN. So, the relationship between PAS and Umno began even before PAS and Bersatu formed PN.”
On February 19, the Umno Supreme Council had unanimously decided that there would be no cooperation with Bersatu for GE15, and that its alliance with the PN government would continue until the dissolution of Parliament. – The Vibes