Public tiff continues as Umno sec-gen calls Bersatu ‘party of united defectors’

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Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan today slammed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan for the latter’s attack on his party, which he said was extreme and irresponsible.

According to Sinar Harian, Ahmad reportedly said Wan Saiful’s allegation that the Johor state election was held for Umno’s benefit was incorrect, as Bersatu itself came to power with MPs who switched sides after the Pakatan Harapan government collapsed.

“In that case, I can also call Bersatu as Parti Pelompat Bersatu Malaysia,” he reportedly said, using the phrase which means “Malaysian party of united defectors” and also sharing the same initials as Bersatu’s PPBM.

“Of the 31 seats held, only six are from their original party. 10 of them followed in the footsteps of Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and another 15 jumped from Umno,” he reportedly added.

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“If they are truly a principled party, they will not accept MPs who jumped from various states to join Bersatu.”

Ahmad also claimed that the Johor state election was called to form a stable government, rather than to ensure one party’s success or failure.

He also noted that Bersatu was part of the Opposition which defeated Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) in 2018, which contributed to the strain between Umno and Bersatu.

“The relationship between Umno and Bersatu is at a difficult level because it was among the reasons BN lost in the 14th general election when it was with Pakatan Harapan at that time. I hope we do not easily forget about that,” he said.

Last month, Wan Saiful had accused Umno leaders from the “court cluster” ― referring to those currently embroiled in court cases for corruption to power abuse ― of pushing for the state election as part of a ploy to stay in power and divert attention from their court cases.

After several Umno leaders rebuked him for his statements, Wan Saiful said some of them had even privately told him to stop his attacks on the Malay nationalist party. – MMO