KUALA LUMPUR,Mar 22 – Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob should stop blaming PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for all of Umno’s problems.

PKR information chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin said that Ismail Sabri should instead admit that the way forward for Umno to stay relevant is to cooperate with other parties based on shared values.

“What are those values? They are those that are in line with the rakyat’s aspirations based on unity, democracy, shared prosperity and the creation of a government that widens integrity and upholds good governance,” said the Hang Tuah Jaya MP in a statement.

“Umno members are also aware that the cooperation with Bersatu is only based on Bersatu and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s desire to remain in power at all costs.”

Last Saturday, Ismail Sabri had cautioned Umno members against being influenced by Anwar’s statements, as the latter’s agenda might be to split up the party.

He had said that he was worried that Anwar’s words could create suspicion among Umno leaders and members.

Ismail Sabri was responding to Anwar’s recent statement on unofficial talks between PKR and Umno on possible cooperation in the 15th general election (GE15). 

The senior minister stressed that Umno would not cooperate with Anwar, PKR or DAP in GE15, as has been decided by the Umno Supreme Council.

‘Talk to your own president’

Shamsul Iskandar said he was not surprised by Ismail Sabri’s statement, which had “conveniently attacked and blamed” Anwar.

“What’s surprising is that, as the third highest-ranking leader in Umno, a party that has emerged as the dominant party in Barisan Nasional (BN) until May 2018, he (Ismail Sabri) cannot tell the difference between the significance of party leadership, but instead, takes a wrong stance to blame and attack Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“My question is, why does Ismail Sabri need to blame Anwar? 

“Umno has its own leader and in the principle of an organisation, he (Ismail Sabri), as the vice-president, should talk to his president, and not place the blame on Anwar,” said Shamsul Iskandar.

He also believed that Umno would be more consolidated and unified if there were no “traitors” and no betrayals bought by government appointments, following its cooperation with Bersatu in Perikatan Nasional.

He said, like PKR, Umno was also weakened by traitors within its own fold.

“Parliamentarians are forced to cease supporting their own parties through threats and exiting (their parties) to become independents who support the government,” he said.

“All this happens in the interest of Bersatu and the prime minister.”

Shamsul Iskandar added that PKR is confident that talks with Umno, which are still in its early stages, will not affect Umno’s strength.

“While PKR values the wisdom of a large portion of Umno leaders, the statements of those such as Ismail Sabri are a loss to the party.

“Many among Umno members realise that the party is shadowed by its past that is weakened by corruption, internal strife, and the greed for power among individuals.”


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