JOHOR BAHRU, June 4 — UMNO grassroots must be open to the presence of party representatives from the Unity Government, especially Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, at the UMNO General Assembly 2023 on June 7 to 10, said UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.
He said this was because the move to invite representatives from the 19 political parties in the Unity Government, including Anwar who is the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman, was in preparation for the coming state polls in six states.
“In such a coalition, we must be open to receiving the presence of leaders, because we are preparing for a bigger political battle, namely the six state polls,” he told a media conference at the Johor UMNO Liaison Office, here, today.
Ahmad, who is also Johor state liaison committee deputy chairman, said this when asked if the presence of the presidents of the Unity Government coalition political parties at this year’s UMNO general assembly would cause any discontent among the grassroots.
For the record, apart from Anwar, who is also the PKR president, other party leaders who have confirmed their attendance are Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Meanwhile, Ahmad, who is also the Deputy Finance Minister, urged the UMNO Youth, Women and Puteri wings to focus on the real issues, such as the preparation for the polls in six states, problems plaguing Kelantan and Terengganu and the claim that Penang belongs to Kedah.
“This is just a suggestion, I cannot order. But I hope the assembly will be used as the arena for the opening of the state polls, besides highlighting the success of the states under the leadership of the Unity Government, like Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Penang,” he said.