JOHOR BARU: Umno’s decision to not formally join Perikatan Nasional does not mean the party is sidelining the interest of Malays, says Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin (pic).
“Many excuses are being used especially on the rhetoric that Umno is neglecting the ummah’s unity but the party has never done so.
“It was Umno that paved the way for unity among the Malays to liberate the country and it was Umno that accepted back Semangat 46 members in the interest of Malay unity, ” said the party vice-president here on Wednesday (March 10).
Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah formed a splinter party, Semangat 46, in 1989 after a fallout with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a contest for the Umno president’s post. Tengku Razaleigh eventually disbanded Semangat 46 in 1996, and rejoined Umno with most of his former party members.
Mohamed Khaled also reminded that it was Umno that invited PAS to form the Muafakat Nasional pact.
“Not joining Perikatan does not mean we are setting aside Malay interest as Umno has its own political calculation.
“Umno is not a party with a ‘herd mentality’ as it is a party with a stand that its survival is much more important than Perikatan, ” he added.
The former Johor mentri besar also said that many people seem to forget that Umno’s decision comes from its grassroots members.
He added that Umno is a party of the common people and not a party that was formed through a “game of elites”, which betrayed the people’s mandate.
Mohamed Khaled said after listening to the wishes of grassroots members, Umno decided that it would stand as Barisan Nasional in GE15.
“But what is important is to remember that Umno’s future is decided by the rakyat and not through cooperation with Perikatan as it is up to them to decide whether the party will either move forward or be defeated, ” he added.
Mohamed Khaled also urged every Umno supporter that the party must work with the rakyat and for the rakyat to grab victory in the upcoming general election.