KUALA LUMPUR: The invitation by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad calling for members in other Malay-based parties to cross-over to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) is a futile one, says Umno stalwart Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
According to Nazri, this was because Umno already enjoys a good-working relationship with PAS.
“Maybe a bit late, because we already agreed with PAS and I support working with PAS. Umno and PAS have worked together, we went to three by-elections and we won.
“And now, the Malays are coming back to support us,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (July 10).
The Padang Rengas MP was referring to Barisan Nasional’s three consecutive victories in the Cameron Highlands, Rantau and Semenyih by-elections.
Asked if he would cross over to Bersatu, Nazri said this was impossible because he is considered a persona non grata in Pakatan Harapan.
“Bersatu don’t want me. Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said Padang Rengas is not welcome,” he added.
Nazri said that in order for the Malays to be united, the Opposition must be able to form the government.
“Whether Bersatu merges with PAS or Umno, we cannot reach that magic number of 112 MPs. So, what’s the point?” he asked.
Nazri said Umno must now look forward to cooperating with PAS to take on the 15th general election.
“There’s no turning back. Umno and PAS must work together and we must win back all the seats we lost because of the split Malay votes,” he said.
Nazri, instead, urged Dr Mahathir to return to Umno, saying that splinter parties such as Semangat 46 and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Front (Berjasa) were doomed to fail.
“I don’t think they can survive… I will not allow the good work between Umno and PAS to be affected and stopped. I will not allow that.
“No doubt that Umno and PAS will work together. We will form the next government, god-willing.”
Meanwhile, Umno veteran Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein reiterated that he will not leave Umno, but said he is open to discussions by parties to unite Muslims and Malays.
“Whoever wants to meet me on the context of unity, I will meet. But, don’t ask me to leave Umno because I believe that Umno is capable of looking at the bigger struggle.”
Asked by reporters if he would consider working with Dr Mahathir for Malay unity, Hishammuddin merely said: "Let’s see what are Dr Mahathir’s plans.”
Last Friday (July 5), Dr Mahathir made a call for Umno members to join Bersatu, since political division among the Malays was growing.
However, on Monday (July 8), Dr Mahathir clarified his remarks, saying that Pakatan was not calling for other Malay-based parties to join forces, but only its members to cross-over.