We are confused over political ties, say Umno members

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno members are demanding that the leadership provide a clearer explanation and guidelines on its political cooperation with other parties, especially PAS.

Selangor representative Datuk Me­­gat Zulkarnain Omardin said while party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the cooperation was between parties in the opposition bloc and on common interests, more explanation was neces­sary.

“If there is no clear direction about what we are doing, I’m afraid that those on the ground will be confused,” he said during debate on the presidential address.

On Saturday, Barisan Nasional executive secretary Datuk Dr Ah­mad Masrizal Muhammad clarified that the only form of “interaction” between the coalition and PAS was based on the principles of “political understanding” on certain issues.

He said Dr Ahmad Zahid had also informed MCA that the type of relationship with PAS was only based on political understanding.

Dr Ah­mad Masrizal also clarified that discussions were held between Dr Ahmad Za­­hid and MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and not his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The statement came after Dr Wee insisted that he had never been involved in talks on cooperation between Umno and PAS.

Perak Umno representative Datuk Aminuddin Md Hanafiah said an explanation on the cooperation between Umno and PAS should be given to Barisan component parties.

“This is in order to allay concerns of MCA, MIC, PBRS and MyPPP on the relationship,” he added.

Malaysia’s current political landscape, said Aminuddin, meant that there was no political party that could stand on its own without cooperating with others.

“The cooperation between Umno and PAS is expected to change the political landscape of the nation be­cause these two parties have almost 75% of the Malay Muslim votes in the 14th General Election,” he said.

Federal Territories Umno representative Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz said the party president and supreme council should explain the political cooperation to avoid confusion and misinterpretation among members.

He said, for example, when the supreme council decided to boycott the Port Dickson by-election, there was a need to explain to members whether this meant that the party would still help PAS in its campaign.

“Political agreements must come with a clear guideline so that they will benefit the party,” he said.