Umno polls chief: No working with Bersatu in GE15

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Umno will not work with Bersatu in the 15th general election, Umno elections director Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said.

Umno will only work with PAS as they have a pact called Muafakat Nasional, which they sealed in September 2019, Tajuddin, who is also a party Supreme Council member, was reported saying by Berita Harian Online.

He made the remarks while officiating the Pasir Salak Umno division meeting in Teluk Intan today, ahead of the party’s annual general assembly at the end of the month.

Tajuddin, who is also Pasir Salak MP, said it was up to PAS if it wanted to cooperate with Bersatu in GE15, which must be held by 2023.

While Umno and PAS are allies under MN, PAS and Bersatu are partners in the Perikatan Nasional coalition, which Umno has refused to join. Umno said its MPs are only supporting the PN government.

TMI

“PAS vice president Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah has said PAS will cooperate with Bersatu, that is up to them. Umno will not cooperate with Bersatu in GE15,” Tajuddin said, adding that this was the view of the Umno grassroots from at least two-thirds of all division chiefs around the country.

Those in favour of all three Malay parties cooperating and giving way in certain seats in GE15 hold the view that none of them can win by contesting alone and need to be united under the PN banner.

Several Umno leaders, however, like Tajuddin, disagree on cooperating with Bersatu, which is a smaller, splinter party comprising members and leaders who left Umno to oppose it by aligning with other Pakatan Harapan parties.

Bersatu and Umno are in the PN government, but several Umno leaders have voiced unhappiness at the way Umno is sidelined in the administration.

Tajuddin said PAS can pursue its cooperation with Bersatu but must keep its promise made with Umno, which is not to contest in seats that would result in a clash between the two MN partners.

“It’s up to PAS to resolve. They joined PN with Bersatu while being in MN with Umno. So, it’s up to them to find their own way out,” he said.

Tajuddin added that Umno will contest in the seats in Perak, which the party won in 2018, but whose incumbents have defected and joined Bersatu.

These include the Sg Manik state seat, and the federal seats of Bukit Gantang, Bagan Serai and Larut.

“The seats of those who hopped parties, we will retake. Whoever wants to stand there will have to face us,” he said, in a reference to Bersatu.

Tajuddin’s remarks differ from that of Barisan Nasional secretary-general Annuar Musa, who today urged for seat negotiations between Umno, Bersatu and PAS to proceed calmly.

Meanwhile, in Larut, Perak Umno chief Saarani Mohamad echoed Tajuddin’s call for the party to contest in all seats it won in 2018.

The Perak menteri besar described the incumbents in such seats who later defected to Bersatu as “traitors”.

“All seats won by Umno in GE14, but which were betrayed by the incumbents whom we trusted, shall be contested by the party in GE15.

“There will be no compromise in the matter. Return them to Umno as we have far more members who are loyal to the party to replace those who betrayed us,” Saarani was quoted by Free Malaysia Today while officiating the Larut division meeting.

He said this would be Umno’s stand when contesting in GE15.

Larut, where he was speaking, is held by Hamzah Zainuddin, who quit Umno to join Bersatu and is now its secretary-general. Hamzah is also PN secretary-general and home minister. – TMI