Umno must think about contesting constituencies it can win and not just demand more seats in the 15th general election, Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Annuar Musa said.
He said if Umno could cut a deal with PAS and Bersatu on seat allocations, it could expect to get the lion share of constituencies among the three Malay-based parties.
However, he told Insight Talk, more than wanting seats, Umno must be able to win wherever it contests.
“I’m sure, (if there is) a consensus between Umno-PAS-Bersatu, I think everyone understands that Umno will contest the most seats.
“But Umno also has to think, it’s not just about wanting to contest in many seats, but can we win a lot?
“In Sabah, we wanted a lot (of seats), and we were also given plenty of seats to contest, but in the end, we didn’t win much,” said Annuar, who is also the Federal Territories Minister.
In the Sabah state election on September 26, BN contested 31 seats, of which Umno only won 14.
This is still more than Bersatu which won 11.
Both parties were on the same side in the state polls under Gabungan Rakyat Sabah, which toppled the Warisan Plus state government.
Annuar’s remarks on seat negotiations come as Umno leaders and members say that the party should be given more seats because it is the bigger party, although Bersatu is the party of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Several Umno MPs had also defected to Bersatu after the 2018 general election.
Annuar is also more supportive of Bersatu and the Perikatan Nasional coalition, to the extent that he has been criticised by other Umno leaders.
He told Insight Talk that politicians and parties should not make claims on seats, as it is the voters who give them the mandate.
“No one (politician or party) can claim ownership of electoral seats because the seat is actually owned by the people.
“In some places, they choose the party, while some choose the individual (candidate), …and in some places, the winners change all the time.
“So, the decision or mandate belongs to the people. Let them decide who to choose,” he said.
Rather than fighting over seat allocations, Annuar said Malay political parties should look at the bigger picture and consolidate themselves.
He said Malay votes were fragmented in the last general election because Malay parties were not united for a common goal.
“To avoid what happened in GE14, we must work towards consolidation of party politics among Malays.
“This is the basis how Muafakat Nasional began and when we agreed, of course, there must be give and take. There must be a principle of sharing, and when there is a need to share, certain things must be sacrificed,” he said, referring to Umno’s pact with PAS. – TMI