Hishammudin: Too soon to say Umno-BN to go it alone in GE15

Danial Dzulkifly
·3-min read
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein speaks to reporters during the Umno general assembly in Kuala Lumpur March 28, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein speaks to reporters during the Umno general assembly in Kuala Lumpur March 28, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Umno should not be hasty and declare it will contest the 15th general election on its own, the party’s former vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammudin Hussein said today.

Hishammuddin who is also foreign minister in the Muhyiddin Cabinet said it was too early for his party leaders to get the grassroots worked up for the national election that has yet to be called and reminded his party mates to prioritise political stability.

“Too soon [to say] as it is not us who determine when the election will occur. That’s up to the prime minister to decide when the elections will be called.

“If you look at what the prime minister said yesterday that Bersatu will contest all seats if Umno contests all seats, PAS contests in all seats, then what will happen to the unity and stability running up to the general election?” Hishammuddin asked.

He said the party should not harp on political rhetoric but instead focus on maintaining friendly relations with allies.

“If we hold to the stability and the future there is still time for us to sit down and think about it,” he told reporters after Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s policy speech at the party’s 75th general assembly.

Earlier today, Zahid had said that Umno and BN will contest in the GE15 alone and repeatedly stressed that the party would cut ties with Bersatu running up to GE15 and will not entertain any notion to enter PN.

Umno is set to formally sever ties with splinter party Bersatu led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the end of its assembly today.

The two Malay parties had worked together to topple the Pakatan Harapan federal government last year but Umno did not formally become a component of the Perikatan Nasional coalition initiated by Bersatu.

Those ties have since become strained in the last few months, leading Umno to declare in February its plan to sever ties at the next general election.

Muhyiddin has shrugged off Umno’s refusal to continue their cooperation in GE15, saying yesterday that who his former party chooses to partner next is its choice.

Ketereh MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa also told reporters separately that he welcomed the “narrative” set by Zahid during his speech today.

“I think it’s the right of the president to choose the storyline or narrative as a policy speech. I think it will give the chance for the delegates to evaluate,” he said.

Earlier today, Annuar posted a picture on Facebook of a poster said to have circulated at the general assembly that claimed he will table a motion to make Umno a “stooge” of Bersatu.

He denied that he will introduce any such motion, calling it libel.

At the same time, he was dismissive of such tactics.

“It’s okay, it’s only a small problem. People want to make stories about me, it’s okay,” he told reporters.

Annuar, who like Hishammuddin, is a minister has been perceived as overly friendly and supportive of Muhyiddin and critical of his own party leaders.

In recent months, Annuar has repeatedly asked Zahid to clarify his stance on the party’s “No Anwar, No DAP,” policy, following the assertion by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that he has the support of Umno’s federal lawmakers to supposedly form a new government.

Annuar’s press secretary and Putrajaya Umno deputy division chief Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz was also recently suspended for six years from the party, on the grounds that he had issued a statement of going against the party president.

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