Zahid: Muafakat not bound by external seat agreements


PETALING JAYA: Any discussion between PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia on the seat distribution for the 15th general election (GE15) will be outside the Muafakat Nasional framework, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Umno president said he considered discussions outside Muafakat, which comprises Umno and PAS, as not an agreement with Muafakat.

“Any decision that is made in Muafakat must be implemented and if there is any discussion that is made outside the Muafakat framework, I will not take it as something collectively agreed upon by Muafakat.

“Any discussion outside of Muafakat will only be known by those involved in it, ” he told Mingguan Malaysia on Saturday.

Last week, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the discussion on seat allocations with Umno had been put on hold.

“There are now PAS leaders who are carrying out the task (seat allocation talks) with Bersatu.

“With Umno, there used to be a committee formed but Umno itself made changes mid-negotiations. As Umno has issues currently, we will talk to Bersatu first, ” he had reportedly said.

In the interview with Mingguan Malaysia, Ahmad Zahid also reiterated the party’s stance that they were open to partner with anyone in order to form the government after GE15.

He said this was to ensure political stability and economic development of the country.

“The people want a new mandate to be given to the party that would be able to form a stable government.

“Umno and Barisan Nasional are ready to work together with any political party after the general election. At that time, the formation of the government will not have anyone disputing it because that would be post-GE.

“What is important is that Umno must be dominant again, along with its allies in Barisan, ” he said.

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said he was unaware if seat negotiations between Umno and PAS had been suspended.

He added that as far as he was concerned, negotiations by Muafakat’s main committee on the matter were still being held every fortnight.

“I read about this (talks being suspended) in the media, but in the recent committee meeting, we stated that discussions on seat allocations between Umno and PAS would still continue.

“In fact, we agreed on a formula that our respective parties would defend the seats that we won and also that the party which garnered the highest votes (in the seats they lost) would get to contest those seats, ” he told reporters at a Bangkit 15 programme closing ceremony yesterday.

The Rantau assemblyman said Umno would seek clarification from PAS in the next Muafakat meeting, adding that both parties were still on good terms.

He also said that any decision by Umno to hold its party elections, originally scheduled for June, would depend on the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

“We are looking at the cases because during elections, members must be present, but currently there are difficulties as the pandemic has not eased up.

“For example, in the Rembau (Umno division), there are 1,100 delegates and we have to look for a hall that can accommodate 3,000 people to comply with the standard operating procedure.

“We cannot just allow 20% to attend as the meeting will be declared null and void, ” he said.

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