SEREMBAN: Umno, being the country's largest Malay-based political party, will field candidates in all seats that it has traditionally contested as well as those it has the potential to win in the next general election, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
The Umno deputy president made the statement after the DAP's Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming said Umno faced a big dilemma on how to continue working with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) through the Perikatan Nasional platform.
Ong said the current arrangement in the Perikatan Nasional government would not be acceptable to Umno in the longer term.
"Most importantly, from a political strategy perspective, Umno leaders must realise that Bersatu’s ultimate goal is to replace Umno in the political arena as the dominant Malay party in government.
"This is the only way that Bersatu can survive post-GE15, and Umno knows this," said Ong in a statement.
Ong went on to say that although Umno had more MPs than Bersatu in the Dewan Rakyat, the latter had more ministers and deputy ministers.
In response, Mohamad made it clear that Perikatan was not a registered political entity like Barisan.
"Umno's relations with Perikatan was merely to save Malaysia from a political impasse caused by certain parties within Pakatan Harapan.
"To put it simply, it was an understanding to form the government and administer Malaysia due to Pakatan's failures and nothing more than that," he said.
Mohamad said this was different compared to Umno's cooperation with PAS which was cemented with the establishment of Muafakat.
He said both sides also came up with a charter which was the basis of its cooperation. Umno's general assembly had also endorsed this.
He said Umno had a proper and binding political arrangement within Muafakat and Barisan, and the objective among others was to win the general election as a coalition.
He said this cooperation within Muafakat and Barisan had translated into the many activities and programmes carried out since.
"So Umno will not face any dilemma in Perikatan as we do not have any agreement with Bersatu or even Gabungan Parti Sarawak.
"As a political party, Umno's work and focus now is to prepare itself to win the next general election with its friends in Muafakat and Barisan," he added.
The former Negri Sembilan mentri besar said when the time came, the party would discuss seat allocation with its Muafakat Nasional ally PAS and Barisan Nasional members with whom it had officially formed political cooperation.
"Umno's strength lies in the Malay heartland, and we want to strengthen our influence and service in these areas.
"With the support from millions of our members, the Malays as well as other Malaysians, Umno will again try to win as many seats as possible because this will be the only way for us to have the largest majority in Parliament and lead the government like before," he said in a Facebook post.
Mohamad said Umno would welcome any party that wished to work with it, adding that they should either join Muafakat or Barisan.
He said other than Muafakat and Barisan, any other arrangement would not be strategic to Umno's continuity.