KLANG: Umno must be cautious in making any decision pertaining to its position and role in Perikatan Nasional, says Hulu Selangor division chief Datuk Mat Nadzari Ahmad Dahlan (pic).
He said it would be risky if the party was perceived as not being in sync with its Perikatan colleagues, PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
"When Perikatan came into being, it was based on the wish of a majority of the Malay masses.
"These are not party members we are talking about, but the country’s Malay community which currently has high expectations of Perikatan which comprises three predominantly Malay parties," he said.
Mat Nadzari said the Malay masses were expecting something big from Perikatan, and it would not augur well to say the party might not be a part of the group of three.
He also said that Perikatan was not a formal coalition but a grouping of three Malay-based political parties conceptualised when the need for the collaboration arose.
"It is a group made up of MPs from the three parties. However, if Umno wants to go on its own way, the party must have strong strategies to give the Malay masses what they are expecting from Perikatan," he said.
As such, statements regarding Umno’s links with Perikatan must be made with care.
"The best would be to not simply make statements as we have to take into consideration the views and demands of the Malays," he said.
In Johor Baru, state Umno treasurer Datuk Md Jais Sarday said Umno's decision to reject the proposal to formalise Perikatan would cause confusion among the people.
He said since Umno was part of the Perikatan government, the decision sent a wrong message to the people.
"If we are unhappy or have a disagreement, we should not be coming outright to reject such a proposal. We should have come out to say that we need more time and now is not the time for this coalition to be formalised, ” he said.
Jais, who admitted that he was shocked by the decision, said it was akin to “pulling the rug” from the Prime Minister’s feet.
“I'm sure there are issues among all the parties in Perikatan but it should be resolved amicably, ” added the Kluang Umno chief.
Umno sources said the supreme council meeting on Monday had decided there was no need for them to formalise its new relations with Bersatu, at least for now.
The sources said the decision was “in the interest of the party” but that they would continue to defend the Perikatan government.
Barisan Nasional, comprising Umno, MCA, MIC and PBRS, as well as its Muafakat Nasional partner PAS, had backed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu president as Prime Minister, and this led to the collapse of Pakatan Harapan after just 22 months in power.