KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi took a swipe at former ally PAS today, saying that the latter will eventually abandon its current partners in Perikatan Nasional (PN).
In his speech during the celebration of Umno’s 77th anniversary, Ahmad Zahid said that the Islamist party has a tendency to abandon partners every time it joins any political coalition, just like it did in Muafakat Nasional, which united Umno and PAS.
“We tried with the intention of wanting to bring about the unification of the ‘ummah’, we have tried in the name of the charter and national consensus, but the party will be kicked out, including us.
“I am sure that the coalition of parties that the party is participating in now even now when the chaos starts to happen, I think that the coalition will soon break and the political partners will also be kicked out as they kicked us out,” he addressed the attendees of the event.
He rejected PAS’s claim that Umno was sidelining Malay unity, saying this was a prime objective of his party but which must be compatible with the country’s diversity.
Zahid further said that although Umno was part of a mixed coalition government, its core struggles remained as always to empower the Malay community and uphold Islam.
“So, we will continue to strengthen the struggle without abandoning the pluralism of Malaysia, which is a diverse country,” he added
He said that as long as Umno was in the government of the day, the Federal Constitution stating that Islam is the religion of the federation would remain supreme.
Earlier today, he urged party members to move towards progressive politics and avoid being bogged down by toxic rhetoric, which he said currently being played out by Umno’s rival.
At the party’s anniversary celebration, Zahid led other including deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, vice president Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, and secretary-general Datuk Seri Asyraf Wajdi in an Islamic-themed ceremony.
Others present were Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh, Wanita chief Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad, and supreme council members including Datuk Seri Puad Zarkashi and Datuk Lokman Noor Adam.