KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin today called on PAS to respect his party’s stand on Bersatu, while stressing that Umno will prioritise cooperating with PAS to win the upcoming general elections.
This comes after former Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa reportedly said last Friday that PAS had decided to not ally itself with Umno, if Umno did not also support Bersatu.
“Umno is confident that PAS will not force Umno to accept Bersatu let alone give seats to Bersatu arbitrarily,” said Khaled in a statement.
He also pointed out that although Umno retracted its support for Perikatan Nasional (PN), it had allowed PAS to join the coalition because Umno understood and respected PAS’ position.
“After all, the Muafakat Nasional (MN) charter has never prevented PAS from working with anyone. So at the same, this is what Umno expects from PAS of Umno’s relationship with Bersatu.
“Because of that, I am convinced that the statement that ‘PAS will not be with Umno without Bersatu’ by a person who is not a PAS spokesman, does not represent the stand of PAS.
“It comes from a person who just wants to save Bersatu and divide Muafakat Nasional,” he said.
Khaled said that Umno and PAS both realise that their top priority is the seat negotiations for the upcoming general election between the two as part of the MN partnership.
“PAS must be aware that there will be seats where Umno will clash with Bersatu.
“Since Umno is not part of PN, then any negotiations with Bersatu are for Umno to undertake directly with PN through Barisan Nasional,” he said.
Khaled also said that Umno and PAS have a “convincing synergy”, and called on both parties to optimise said synergy.
However, he stressed that apart from PAS, Umno’s cooperation with other parties will be based on their ability to give Umno a strategic advantage at the ballot box.
“Umno is not in the mission of giving charity to any party to breathe and achieve victory with the help of Umno.
“Umno also does not want to be forced to accept anyone as its political partner. Only jewellers will know gems,” he said.
Since Annuar’s allegations, Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki has refuted the FT minister’s claims, saying that a MN central committee meeting last Wednesday had agreed to proceed with registering the partnership between Umno and PAS.
Yesterday, PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was reported as saying that Umno, PAS and Bersatu must present a united front at the next general election or risk the prospect of three-cornered fights.
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