Shahril: Umno-PAS cooperation in Johor will dim if attacks persist

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Shahril: Umno-PAS cooperation in Johor will dim if attacks persist
Shahril: Umno-PAS cooperation in Johor will dim if attacks persist

Shahril Hamdan has warned chances for PAS to work with Umno in the upcoming Johor election may diminish if the leaders from the Islamist party continue to attack Umno.

The Umno information chief said PAS wants to make friends with Umno but on the ground its leaders continuously criticise Umno.

This came after PAS ulama leader Mokhtar Senik said Umno had fallen back to its old ways of lusting for power after scoring a series of major political victories, including successfully installing its own prime minister and winning a landslide victory in the Malacca polls.

Shahril (above) said the Umno supreme council and state liaison would study and make a final decision on whether to work with other parties in the Johor polls.

"But don't blame Umno if statements like those coming from Mokhtar is narrowing any space (for Umno) to work with a friend that attacks (us) like an enemy," he said in a statement yesterday.

Shahril pointed out that Mokhtar's statement was offensive to Umno members.

"Accusation after accusation is thrown at Umno. Umno is greedy. Umno must be healed by a defeat. Umno must realise it has no choice except to work with PAS and Bersatu.

"Umno will not secure seats until it can rule (Johor) by itself without PAS and Bersatu. There were many other accusations and slander," he added.

Umno will not bow to pressure

Shahril stressed that Umno will not be pressured into making a decision and advised parties wanting to offer an opinion to do so prudently.

"Umno is a party of its own 'which makes its own decision'. There is no hindrance for other parties to offer their views, but they should be more careful and not to the extent of teaching Umno what it can or cannot do.

"We in the Umno supreme council will take into account various views within the party and make a decision. But to succumb to pressure from an outside party, not at all," he said.

PAS ulama leader Mokhtar Senik
PAS ulama leader Mokhtar Senik

PAS has expressed frustration that Umno is only willing to offer four out of 56 seats in Johor if they were to form an electoral pact.

Mokhtar said Umno appeared to be once again possessed by their greed for power and lust for electoral seats. He also pointed out Umno had seemingly forgotten about the by-elections it won with PAS' assistance when Pakatan Harapan was in power from 2018 to 2020.

In Umno's latest manoeuvring, it triggered the Johor polls in an apparent attempt to oust its Perikatan Nasional (PN) partners from the state government so BN can govern alone.

However, Shahril asked if Mokhtar would request his colleagues from Terengganu and Kelantan not to contest seats that could make PAS govern in both states, just as how the PAS ulama leader requested Umno to do so in the Johor polls.

"Of course not. This is because PAS is also a political party with aspirations and ambitions. Umno has never obstructed or belittled the rights and ambition of other parties, but it even recognises them.

"It's not very sweet for Umno members when Mokhtar belittled Umno's ability," he said.

Last Saturday, Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad sought the dissolution of the state assembly.

Umno's partners Bersatu and PAS complained that the decision was made unilaterally.

The Election Commission will meet on Feb 9 to announce the nomination and polling dates for the Johor polls.

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