Perlis Umno strongman Shahidan Kassim has said that the state party's leadership will continue to be loyal to the party and that he did not propose breaking away from the party’s central leadership should they differ over opinions on cooperation with Bersatu.
According to a report by Bernama, Shahidan (above) said he did not have any problems with the top leadership and in fact, has close ties with Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is perceived as spearheading the party's break with Bersatu.
Yesterday, Shahidan, who is the Arau MP, was reported as saying that Perlis Umno would break away from the central party leadership if it maintained its stand to end cooperation with Bersatu at the 2021 Umno Annual General Assembly scheduled for the end of this month.
In an interview with news portal Malaysia Now, Shahidan stated that if the central leadership's direction differed from that of Perlis', Perlis would make its own decision, and if that resulted in its expulsion, then so be it.
This prompted Johor Baru Umno chief Shahrir Abdul Samad to question possible scenarios for his party.
"Shahidan's stand for Perlis Umno to be with (the Bersatu-led) Perikatan Nasional and not with (Umno-led) BN in GE15 will open a new scenario.
"This means that Shahidan and his gang from Perlis will contest as PN candidates and use the PN symbol," said Shahrir in a Facebook post last night.
Shahidan, while issuing his denial last night, said that Perlis Umno would continue to adhere to the earlier decision of the Umno Supreme Council which was not to form any political cooperation with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and DAP.
He said Perlis Umno will continue to support the Perikatan Nasional (PB) government so as not to violate the agreement made by Umno during the formation of the PN government before this.
“I will support Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin because he is the PN government, and I will also cooperate with PAS, Bersatu, and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) because I am the PN Backbencher’s Club chairperson,” he said.
Shahidan also said, for the time being, Perlis Umno will not be putting up any motions in the 2021 annual general assembly as he has not yet received any directive from central Umno.
Relations between the three largest parties in the government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin are increasingly strained amidst reports that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is working to detach his party from Muhyiddin's coalition.
Yesterday PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang appeared unconcerned over reports that Muafakat Nasional partner Umno might want to work with opposition party PKR.
“As long as they don’t work with the communist party. They can work with whoever as long as it is a registered party.
“We cooperated (with PKR) in the past and now we are working with Umno and Bersatu,” said Hadi.
“We already have more than 20 years of cooperating with PKR and DAP, that is enough,” he added.
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim met with Umno figures and did not rule out the possibility of working with the party.
Yesterday former Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa took a swipe at Zahid when the latter threatened stern action against at least two Supreme Council members who had allegedly "leaked" internal discussions.
Describing the move as unwise, the Federal Territories minister said Zahid's warning also came as a surprise to many people.
"I can't guess who, what more I have not attended any supreme council meeting since I was sacked as BN secretary-general by the president," said Annuar, who is also Ketereh MP.