KUALA LUMPUR: Umno is standing firm in rejecting any tie-up with Perikatan Nasional in the next general election, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Umno president said the decision not to work with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia was not only from the supreme council but also that of the party grassroots with 124 divisions wanting a break-up.
“Umno will never support that political pact. The grassroots have spoken. Their rejection of Umno cooperating with Bersatu reflects their uneasiness towards that party.
“They (Bersatu) have ill intentions to replace and destroy Umno, ” he said in his presidential address at the opening of the Umno general assembly 2020 held at World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur (WTCKL) yesterday.
Using the party’s biggest stage to clarify the situation with Bersatu, Ahmad Zahid said the Umno supreme council agreed on March 12 last year for all Umno MPs to back the formation of a new government after the Pakatan Harapan government fell.
He said Umno made it clear to Bersatu that should the Covid-19 pandemic subside, Parliament should be dissolved by January 2021 to pave the way for polls.
“They understood this. There have been accusations that I applied my veto power (to have this cooperation). Let me state that this is a decision made by the supreme council. Whatever decision it makes, stays, ” he added.
Ahmad Zahid said Umno’s support for the formation of the Perikatan government was for the people and to depose the Pakatan regime that failed to keep its manifesto promises during its 22 months in power.
However, he said it is now necessary for a “political reset” with Umno and its partners in Barisan Nasional planning a unity government to be formed after the 15th General Election.
“Although we have not held any discussion with any party for now, Umno is open to do this after the general election.
“When this happens, Barisan will work with those who are sincere in wanting to work with us. Umno members need to keep an open mind on this possibility, ” he added.
Ahmad Zahid said Umno will stick with Barisan and close the door on Bersatu, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the DAP on any electoral pact.
“There are no discussions – official or unofficial – involving me or the deputy president. If at all, we do it after the general election when we are dominant, ” he declared.
Ahmad Zahid also spoke of “parasites” in Umno who refused to follow the party’s decision and who are still trying to muster support for Bersatu.
He urged the group to stop what they are doing and to toe the party line. “If you want to be leaders, please be loyal to the party’s decision, ” he added.
Also present were MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, MIC president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran, PBRS deputy president Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup as well as representatives from affiliated parties and Friends of BN.
PAS, which is Umno’s partner in Muafakat Nasional, was represented by its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
Ahmad Zahid paid tribute to Umno’s partners in the Barisan – MCA, MIC and PBRS – which he described as loyal partners during good and tough times.
The general assembly was held in a hybrid manner with physical attendance at WTCKL and virtually from 190 Umno divisions nationwide, except Sarawak. Of the 2,668 delegates, 1,110 (42%) were at WTCKL.