Seat negotiations for the ruling Perikatan Nasional heading into the general election are set to be fraught after yet another Umno leader said nominal ally Bersatu should end any expectations of contesting the Malay nationalist party’s traditional seats.
Umno’s Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said there was no way his party would yield to Bersatu in Johor, especially not when the latter appeared to be in disarray.
In an interview with Utusan Malaysia published today, the former Pulai MP also repeated his prediction that Bersatu was likely to share the fate of defunct Umno offshoot, Semangat 46.
“The Bersatu elections are supposed to happen next month, September, but until now they have still not resolved their division level polls. It is clear that Bersatu at the divisional level is extremely lethargic,” he was quoted as saying.
“The Johor Bersatu leadership can’t even control things, what more the situation down at the division level. Then they eye many seats and tell Umno’s people to support them.”
Nur Jazlan’s rebuke of Bersatu made him the second senior Umno leader to deliver a reality check to Bersatu about its place in the pecking order within Malaysia’s ruling political alliance.
After the Sabah state election was declared last month, the state chapter of Bersatu announced that it wanted to contest in 45 out of the 73 seats.
Umno information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan told Bersatu not to even “dream” about this.
Bersatu is the party of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and allied with Umno through the informal Perikatan Nasional coalition.
However, Umno has since said it will not formally enter PN if it were to be registered as it preferred to develop the Muafakat Nasional alliance with PAS and Barisan Nasional.
Political analysts have said this effectively rendered PN a minority government.
Muhyiddin is said to be considering an early general election by the first quarter of 2021 to secure his personal mandate and erase views that he came to power unelected.
Seat negotiations between Umno, PAS and Bersatu will be challenging as they all appeal to the same Malay electorate, largely due to the fact that the latter two are offshoots of the first. – MMO