PAS must not help Bersatu at Umno's expense, says Tajuddin

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has no issues with PAS if the Islamist party wishes to cooperate with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in the 15th general election, says Umno supreme council member, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.

However, Tajuddin said the PAS-Bersatu cooperation mustn't be achieved at the expense of Umno.

"We want to cooperate with PAS. They can work with Bersatu if they wish. But they should not break away from us. Maybe there is a formula where their cooperation will not undermine Umno.

"This means that wherever Umno contests, don't help Bersatu in attacking us. That's what I mean. If Bersatu contests at Bukit Bintang, support them if you wish because Umno is not contesting there.

"For example, in Pasir Salak, if Bersatu contests there, don't support them. If you (PAS) support (Bersatu), 'siap-lah (watch-out)'," he said at a press conference after a visit at the Ampang LRT station on Tuesday (Mar 9).

Tajuddin, who is also Pasir Salak MP, was commenting on PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man's statement on Tuesday (Mar 9) saying that the Islamist party wishes to maintain its political cooperation with both Bersatu and Umno, even after the 15th general election.

Umno recently declared that its support for Perikatan Nasional only remains until the dissolution of the current Parliament.

Commenting further on the strained Umno-Bersatu ties, Tajuddin said Ibrahim must understand that the decision to sever ties came about after thorough deliberation.

"Umno does not make rash decisions on not cooperating with Bersatu. He (Ibrahim) has to understand the issue because if he doesn't, whatever he says is meaningless," added Tajuddin, who claimed that Umno was threatened and forced to play second fiddle despite being a big party.

"You are not Umno, you will not understand," he said, before adding that the prime minister candidate should have been an Umno leader because the party has the most MPs in the Perikatan coalition.

"How many seats does Bersatu have? We gave the prime minister's position to the smallest party. Whether or not it's good, Bersatu should be thankful to Umno," he added.

Meanwhile, Tajuddin, who is also Umno election director, said Umno aims to contest 120 parliamentary seats if it is to head into GE15 alone, and 96 seats if it were to cooperate with PAS.

"The 120 does not include MCA and MIC," he said, adding if Umno manages to win 90 seats, it will be able to form the government with other parties.

Talk is rife that GE15 will be called once the Emergency ends on Aug 1.

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