Saarani: Parties must return seats won by Umno

TAIPING: Malay political parties cooperating with Umno in the next general election will need to return the seats won by the party in the last polls, says Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad.

“It is only proper that seats won under Umno’s banner by ‘traitors’ be given back to the party, ” said Saarani, who is state Umno chairman.

He said several representatives entrusted by Umno to contest in the seats during the last election had betrayed the party by jumping ship, citing the Larut parliamentary seat, and the Sungai Manik and Tualang Sekah state seats as examples.These seats were won by Umno but the representatives later jumped to Bersatu, he said at the opening of the Larut Umno division meeting yesterday.

The MP for Larut is Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, who is also Party Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia secretary-general, while the Tualang Sekah and Sungai Manik assemblymen are Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohd Radzi and Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin, respectively.

Both of them are state executive council members.

Nolee and Zainol became independent candidates in 2018 and helped Pakatan Harapan form the state government then.

Saarani said there would be no compromise when it came to distribution of seats won by Umno.

“These seats must be returned to Umno, ” he said, adding that the party must be very careful in recognising a friend or foe.

In Pasir Gudang, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the party does not rule out the possibility of it contesting under the Barisan Nasional ticket in the next general election.

Barisan was the biggest political coalition and that it was a symbol of power-sharing among parties, he said.

“Umno must take the step forward, which is to strengthen Barisan, ” he said during the division meeting yesterday.

Mohamed Khaled said: “Barisan is a political brand that is very well integrated with Malaysia’s multiracial society.”

“It must be a platform and Umno provides a solution to the country’s complex challenges today.

“Umno and PAS are a powerful political force but Umno needs Barisan to manage the non-Malay support, including in Sabah and Sarawak.

“No party can form the government without getting the support of everyone and because of that, Umno must return to strengthen Barisan and not through other platforms, ” he said.

At a press conference later, Mohamed Khaled said the plan for Umno to use the Barisan ticket in the next general election was still being discussed by the party leadership.

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