Give state Umno chiefs political autonomy, suggests Ismail

(FMT) – Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob has recommended that state Umno leaders be given autonomy in making political decisions, which includes forming ties with PAS.

He said such an option needed to be given since party leaders of different states had their own opinions on political decisions, which included collaborating with other political parties. “Therefore, I feel that they should be given a little bit of autonomy in decision-making,” Utusan Malaysia quoted him as saying.

Yesterday, Kelantan Umno announced that it had decided to stop cooperating with the state PAS immediately while continuing to support the PAS-led state government and menteri besar Ahmad Yakob.

State Umno chairman Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub said the decision was made because PAS was still cooperating with Bersatu in the Perikatan Nasional coalition.

Commenting on the Kelantan Umno decision, Ismail said he had nothing to do with the state leadership’s actions, decision although he had met them yesterday.

“I have nothing to do with it. Kelantan Umno announced its decision during the Supreme Council meeting (a while ago). We (Umno) leave it to them to make their decision, as long it does not cost the party anything,” he said.

Yesterday Jazlan said Kelantan Umno had also decided to contest the next general election without an electoral pact with PAS and would field candidates against PAS in all 45 state seats and 14 parliamentary seats.

However, Kelantan PAS said it would maintain relations with Umno until the next general election, according to Ahmad, who is also the Kelantan PAS commissioner. His statement was confirmed by party information chief Mohd Nassuruddin Daud.

The Kelantan Umno decision is the latest in a series of skirmishes between the two parties, who are also partners in the Muafakat Nasional alliance.