It was Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who had directed the party not to proceed with the move to formally register the Muafakat Nasional (MN) as a coalition, said Annuar Musa today.
The ousted Barisan Nasional secretary-general said Zahid had issued the directive in an Umno meeting in November last year.
“In the meeting, when we were about to enter discussion on the coalition registration, we were ordered by the president (Zahid) to bring in a motion in the meeting to not register the MN coalition.
“It was decided that Umno and PAS will remain as a cooperation to defend the unity of Malay and Islam.
“And since Umno decided to contest under the BN logo, the registration as MN was seen as irrelevant,” Annuar said at a press conference in Putrajaya today.
Yesterday, BN chairman Zahid sacked Annuar as secretary-general for acting contrary to the coalition’s interest.
He was replaced by Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan.
Umno and PAS had formed a political partnership called MN in September 2019 based on their cooperation on matters related to Islam and the Malay community.
Annuar explained that the decision to officially register the coalition has changed multiple times since both parties signed a charter in 2019.
He said initially there were no plans to register MN, but Umno’s stance changed and later it wanted it to be registered.
Annuar today said that PAS still wants to register the coalition.
“To be honest, in the last PAS meeting, it was suggested for the pact to be registered but Umno didn’t want it,” he said today.
Annuar’s version today contradicted PAS vice-president Amar’s who previously said the effort to formalised MN will be delayed after the name was already taken by somebody else.
Amar was reported as saying that the name was registered to another party, and therefore the coalition between PAS and Umno would have to choose another name to be registered.
However, Annuar insisted that the continued failure to register MN was not due to the reason that Amar gave.