Ahmad Maslan: Motions to sever ties with Bersatu, stay with Muafakat for GE15 to be tabled at this weekend’s Umno general assembly

(Bernama) – After being postponed for a year following the global Covid-19 pandemic, Umno delegates will finally come together this weekend at what is deemed the party’s most important general assembly to decide its direction in facing the upcoming 15th general election (GE15).

This includes endorsing the party’s Supreme Council (MT) decision to no longer cooperate with Bersatu in the GE15.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the motion to sever ties with Bersatu will be dominating the flow of the party’s general assembly.

“Between January 1 and 3, a total of 760 meetings were convened involving Umno Youth, Puteri and Wanita members in 190 divisions except for the suspended Tanah Merah division in Kelantan.

“The main motion raised by 124 out of 190 divisions was for Umno to have no cooperation with Bersatu,” he said in an interview with Bernama here on Tuesday.

Umno had on March 4 written to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Bersatu president, to inform the party’s MT decision to no longer cooperate with Bersatu in GE15, but felt that its position within the PN government could continue until the Parliament is dissolved.

With the many issues plaguing the country’s current political landscape, the 2020 Umno general assembly, which will begin tomorrow, is expected to be a hot affair and capture the attention of many, including political analysts who wanted to know the next step to be taken by the 75-year-old Malay party.

Of course, apart from the issue to sever ties with Bersatu, the other possible hot topic of discussion would be on Muafakat Nasional (MN), an opposition alliance that Umno had formed with PAS.

This is because PAS is now part of PN component parties, together with Bersatu, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Gerakan.

Ahmad said the MN issue was the second motion to be discussed at the general assembly, before being followed by other motions on education, economy and religion.

Another interesting issue to be given attention to is the statement from Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on March 12 saying that the decision made by Umno MT could only be changed at Umno general assembly.

On this, Ahmad, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general, said no division had brought forth any motion to change the MT’s decision so far.

“I have yet to hear any delegate from any division voicing out their disagreement (on the motion). That has been Umno’s tradition. When the delegates agreed, all motions will be approved,” he said, stressing that the MT’s decision was a consensus decision made by all MT members after their meeting which lasted over six hours on Feb 19.

Meanwhile, the Pontian MP also stressed that the presence of Umno and BN within the PN government was merely to support the government of the day led by Muhyiddin and that they had never actually been part of the PN coalition.

“Umno has never been a part of PN. We only lent them our MPs to support the ruling coalition.

“It’s not suitable for us to become another component party in PN because we are already in BN and BN has been there for so long. We have Umno, MCA, MIC and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) in BN,” he said.

The 2020 Umno general assembly will be held in a hybrid manner with physical attendance at the World Trade Centre and virtually from 190 Umno divisions nationwide, except Sarawak.

It will begin with the simultaneous opening of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri meetings by Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan on Saturday and the president’s policy speech at the opening of the general assembly on Sunday.

Under the new norm and in compliance with the standard operating procedures to curb coronavirus infection, no public observers or guests were invited and no stalls or food trucks were allowed to operate outside the venue throughout the general assembly.

For the record, the assembly secretariat had also received applications for coverage from 42 media organisations.