Gombak Umno has indicated that it won’t give a free pass to International Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali to defend his parliamentary seat which he has held since 2008.
Umno Gombak chief Megat Zulkarnain Omardin, without naming Azmin, said anyone who wishes to contest the parliamentary seat must get consent from Umno and PAS.
This comes a day after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Bersatu president, announced his party will be joining Muafakat Nasional, an alliance set up by Umno and PAS.
Azmin, who defected from PKR, is expected to contest under Bersatu’s banner in the next general election.
Megat Zulkarnain said the determination of candidates for the Gombak parliamentary seat as well as its three state seats Sungai Tua, Gombak Setia and Hulu Kelang should abide the “original Muafakat Nasional”.
“That is our and PAS’ position at the Gombak division level,” he had said at an event in Chenor Pahang. A recording of his press conference was shared with the media.
Megat Zulkarnain said he does not “celebrate” people who defect from their parties, even if the defection is to his side.
“We have our principles. Just as we are saddened when we lost the 14th general election and (Umno) MPs defected, we feel the same about other people who defect from their party.
“It is unfair if we accept and celebrate them,” he said.
Azmin was instrumental in bringing down the Pakatan Harapan government in late February when he led a nine other PKR MPs to defect. At the same time, Muhyiddin also pulled Bersatu out of the coalition.
Together, they formed the new Perikatan Nasional government with, BN, PAS, GPS, PBS, and STAR.
Muhyiddin had been working on formalising the PN coalition but is now planning to join Muafakat Nasional after BN, and in particular, Umno refused to formally join PN.
Azmin has had icy relations with Umno and PAS within his division despite being part of the same PN government.
In July, Gombak Umno and Gombak PAS accused the minister of sidelining them after they were left out of development coordination meetings.
In the last general election, Azmin, under the PKR banner, won the Gombak parliamentary seat with 75,113 votes to BN’s 26,392 votes and PAS 17,537 votes.
BN and PAS had been planning to put up a joint candidate for the next general election but with Bersatu now in the picture, they face the prospect of having to make way to Azmin who is the incumbent. – Malaysiakini