Azmin: BN should decide fast whether it wants to cooperate with Perikatan in Melaka polls

(Bernama) – Perikatan Nasional (PN) has never shut its doors to negotiations with Barisan Nasional (BN) and the latter should quickly decide whether it wants to cooperate with PN in the Melaka state election, said PN election director Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

He said BN should decide fast to ensure that the election machinery could make more effective preparations at the grassroots level.

“(PN components) Bersatu, PAS and Gerakan have reached the stage of facing nomination day but Umno has yet to make the final decision. We hope a decision can be made early and not at the last minute,” he said here today.

Mohamed Azmin, who is also PN information chief and Bersatu supreme council member, told reporters this after attending a meeting with the Masjid Tanah PN machinery near here.

Mohamed Azmin claimed that he had received information that certain Umno leaders and grassroots members were keen to cooperate with PN.

“But this is an internal problem of Umno which we should not interfere. Umno needs to make a final decision on whether it wants to cooperate or not, and let the people judge which party is rejecting unity and which one is for establishing cooperation for the sake of stability in the state and country,” he added.

Earlier, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said the party was sticking to its decision to not cooperate with Bersatu in any elections.

When asked if Umno would rule out cooperating with PN in the coming Melaka polls, Ahmad Zahid merely said, ”I do not see in that direction.”

Meanwhile, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said it is still not too late for Umno to establish cooperation with any party for the Melaka election.

The Umno supreme council would make the final decision on this at a meeting to be held on Thursday, he told reporters after inspecting preparations at the BN operations room for the Bukit Terendak polling district centre in Sungai Udang today.

The Election Commission has set Nov 8 for polling, Nov 16 for early voting and Nov 20 for polling in the Melaka state election.

The Melaka election was called following the dissolution of the Melaka State Legislative Assembly on Oct 4, a move undertaken after four representatives withdrew their support for Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

The four former assemblymen who triggered the election are Datuk Seri Idris Haron (BN-Sungai Udang), Datuk Nor Azman Hassan (BN-Pantai Kundor), Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Independent-Pengkalan Batu) and Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Bersatu-Telok Mas).