‘Umno-Pas ties at the end of the rope’
The relationship between Umno and Pas appears to have turned sour in recent weeks and last night, Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan fired a salvo against the Islamist party.
(NST) – In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Shahril slammed Pas Dewan Ulama committee member Mokhtar Senik over his claim that Umno was power-hungry for offering Pas just four seats in the upcoming Johor state polls.
Describing Mokhtar’s remarks as hurtful, Shahril said although others are free to give their opinions, Umno, however, would make its own decision through its supreme council.
“Accusations, one after another, have been thrown at Umno: Umno is greedy. Umno needs to be mended with defeat. Umno needs to realise it has no choice but to cooperate with Pas and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. So many accusations, allegations and ‘teachings’.
“Firstly, if there is a desire to provide an opinion, better do it reasonably. Secondly, Umno is its own entity and it will make its own decision.
Yesterday, Mokhtar said Umno seemed to have forgotten the roles played by Pas in previous state elections, claiming that Umno was eager to retain power without the Islamist party.
Mokhtar also said that Umno should not seek to form a government without Perikatan Nasional (PN) and its allies such as Pas and Bersatu.
Shahril said rather than taking a cheap shot against Umno for wanting to contest in all the seats in Johor, Pas should be able to relate to this wish given that the Islamist party had done the same in Kelantan and Terengganu.
“So, can he ask Pas in Kelantan and Terengganu to only contest in a specific number of seats so that the party can’t win the majority on its own? Obviously, this won’t happen.
“This is because Pas is also a political party that has its own ambition and aspiration. That is Pas’ right. Umno had never stopped or made fun of other people’s ambitions.
“We work hard and never look down on others’ abilities. For Umno, we don’t feel good when we saw Mokhtar belittling us this way.”
For the upcoming Johor election, Shahril said Umno’s top leadership has yet to decide on its cooperation with other parties, adding that the party is currently considering this possibility.
“But don’t blame Umno if statements such as the one made by Mokhtar limit the space for cooperation with a ‘friend’ who is attacking us like an enemy.”
In 2019, after Umno was defeated in the 14th General Election for the first time, the party formed a loose political cooperation with Pas called Muafakat Nasional (MN).
At the beginning of the cooperation, the strong machinery and grassroots of both parties led to Umno’s victory in several by-elections starting with the Cameron Highlands by-election.
However, the relationship between the two parties began to fall apart after Pas decided to ally itself with Bersatu through PN.