Bersatu formed PN without Umno’s knowledge, says Shahril

Perikatan Nasional was formed by Bersatu as a separate political entity without Umno’s approval, the party’s information chief, Shahril Hamdan, said today.

(FMT) – In a statement in which he told Bersatu not to accuse Umno of causing problems, Shahril also questioned the Muhyiddin Yassin-led party’s sincerity in joining the Muafakat Nasional alliance with Umno and PAS.

His remarks come in the wake of his Bersatu counterpart Wan Saiful Wan Jan claiming that there were question marks about his party joining MN because of Umno’s silence over the matter.

Shahril, who is also Umno Youth’s vice chief, said it was not true that his party agreed to the registration of Perikatan Nasional as a political party, saying this had come as a surprise as it was never discussed.

He questioned Bersatu’s sincerity in wanting to join MN when it had registered PN and called on other parties to join.

“If you look at the earlier statements of Bersatu leaders in August 2020 and before, PN was only to be a grand coalition in which MN would be among the main anchors, alongside other parties from Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

“Then, suddenly, before the state elections in Sabah, PN stood alone,” he said in a Facebook posting today, adding that this meant that PN was no longer a grand coalition but became a registered political entity without Umno’s agreement.

He acknowledged that PN’s registration did not need his party’s approval, but said the story should not be “twisted” to make it seem like Umno had caused problems.

Wan Saiful, in an interview with FMT, had said Umno was like the “big brother” in Barisan Nasional, in which the Malay-Muslim party limited the views of the component parties. PN was different, he said, with all parties allowed to have a say.

In response to this, Shahril said Bersatu should look itself in the mirror because it was now playing that “big brother” role. “Bersatu is the one that’s clearly dominant today. They should look at its actions since the formation of the PN government more than a year ago if they wanted to identify why our cooperation is falling apart.”

He also denied that Umno and BN did not have a prime minister candidate, saying his party was not in a hurry to name their man for the top post since a general election was not going to be held tomorrow.

“It’s up to Umno when to name him. As far as we know, the elections aren’t tomorrow. Malaysia’s democracy is still suspended due to the emergency. We can’t even prove the (government’s) majority in Parliament, what more have an election soon,” he said, adding that Umno had many suitable candidates who could helm the top post or other state leadership positions.

In a jibe at Bersatu, he said it might be easier for the party to decide because it only had its sights on one post and did not have anyone else to fill that position.

“Aside from Muhyiddin who is already the prime minister, can they name another respected Bersatu leader? One who’s positively well-known and has the potential to be prime minister?”