Ketereh MP Annuar Musa has brushed off former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's prediction that the cooperation between Umno, PAS and Bersatu was fragile and would fall apart after the 15th general election (GE15).
Annuar said there is no denying that when forming a new coalition between the three parties, there will be matters that need to be negotiated and streamlined and it required continuous effort.
"This is an effort made when I was the BN secretary-general and Umno secretary-general - the efforts to form a strong coalition started with Muafakat Nasional between Umno and PAS. Then we agreed to unite to make the coalition stronger.
"The prediction of Tun (Mahathir) that the coalition is fragile is not very accurate because it can be said that a fairly stable understanding has been formed between Umno and PAS even though there are still some complications between Umno and Bersatu.
"Even in Umno, we are still looking at various opinions. I am confident that Umno can manage differences of opinion and most importantly Umno can have a formula and strategy to win the GE.
"I am confident Umno can solve it," he said at a press conference when presenting Chinese New Year donations in Kok Lanas, Kota Bharu, today.
The Federal Territories Minister made his comments after Mahathir had said that the cooperation of Bersatu, PAS, and Umno was only for the sake of their respective political interests and there was no sincerity behind the 'Malay-Muslim' agenda the parties were touting.
Annuar's own recent removal as BN secretary-general was said to have been due to his close ties to Bersatu at a time when many other Umno leaders were openly expressing their dissatisfaction with the party of prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Annuar claimed that the issue of fragility of cooperation between the three parties did not arise because it has not been officially tied.
"What binds is the Perikatan Nasional government, so I expect the Umno leadership to continue discussions and negotiations until a formula is reached.
"What is important is that in the end, Bersatu, Umno and PAS should win GE15.
"I think we can be patient and give opportunities to the party leadership," he said.
He added that he understood that the Umno leadership had, last week, given the green light for negotiations with Bersatu on the distribution of seats to continue.
He said so far, no negotiations regarding seats have been made between the two parties.
"As far as I know, the distribution of seats between Umno and Bersatu has never been made and there has been no specific discussion between Umno and Bersatu," said Annuar.
"Unofficially, I dare to state that both parties have their own wish lists and I also dare to state that the differences are there but not too difficult to be resolved.
"Among them are that Bersatu can understand that Umno will contest in more seats because they have more strongholds where they can win seats.
"Secondly, it has been agreed that Umno will contest using the BN logo and Bersatu using the PN logo," he explained.