PAS should not force Umno to accept Bersatu or give away seats to the party.
Umno is not on a mission to assist another party to “breathe” and cannot be forced to accept any party as a political partner, stressed party vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
According to Khaled, this is the party’s stand, and he expressed confidence that PAS, which is its coalition partner in Muafakat Nasional, will not force Umno to accept Bersatu.
“Umno had never prevented PAS from joining the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition because it understands and respects PAS’ position.
“Besides, the Muafakat charter does not prevent PAS from working with anyone.
“Hence, Umno also wishes the same with regards to the relationship between Umno and Bersatu,” he said in a statement today.
Khaled’s statement came after BN secretary-general Annuar Musa said that PAS had insisted that the three Malay parties – PAS, Umno, and Bersatu – work together.
Annuar’s remarks had irked several Umno leaders, including Nur Jazlan Mohamed.
“I am confident that a statement that PAS will not be with Umno without Bersatu came from someone who is not the spokesperson for PAS, and it does not reflect PAS’ stand.
“It came from someone who wants to rescue Bersatu and divide Muafakat Nasional,” Khaled said.
While the Umno vice-president did not name a specific person, it is believed that he was referring to Annuar.
For the record, PAS was in cooperation with Umno through Muafakat Nasional long before PN took over as the federal government following the “Sheraton Move” in February.
Subsequently, PAS officially joined as a PN coalition member with Bersatu. On the other hand, Umno in October decided not to join PN and instead focused on strengthening Muafakat and BN.
On Muafakat, Khaled believed that Umno and PAS have synergy, which should be optimised at this time.
“Other than PAS, cooperation between Umno and other parties is based on the latter’s formula to give Umno a strategic advantage to win.
“Umno does not want to be forced to accept anyone as a political partner.
“Umno’s priority is to ensure a huge victory with PAS. Other than that, let Umno decide its own way,” he said.
He added that Umno and PAS must realise that the priority is to negotiate seats in GE15 as members of Muafakat.
He also said PAS should realise that some of Umno’s seats would clash with Bersatu.
“As Umno is not part of Perikatan Nasional, any seat negotiations with Bersatu will be done with Perikatan through Barisan Nasional,” he stressed.