‘We can work with new partners’

KUALA LUMPUR: Chiefs of Umno wings have allayed concerns over the party’s participation in the unity government, calling on their members to be open to this new form of collaboration in the name of stability.

Wanita, Youth and Puteri chiefs acknowledged that the new working arrangement is difficult for some to accept but stressed that it is, however, necessary for their party to be in the government.

This issue was among concerns raised by the grassroots ahead of the Umno general assembly today and the three chiefs took time to address it.

Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh noted that the party may share administrative space with other parties including DAP, that does not mean they share common grounds on certain issues.

“We may have crossed party-based politics (to work together) but we draw the boundary when it comes to party struggles.

“Umno will never become DAP and neither will we ever ask DAP to become us,” he said in his policy speech yesterday.

Barisan Nasional, in which Umno is a component, and Pakatan Harapan set aside decades of hostility to join hands in the wake of the 15th General Election, where no single party won enough seats to form the government on its own.

Seven months into the unity government, there are still questions as to whether Barisan – Umno in particular – can work alongside Pakatan, especially with Umno’s long-time foe DAP.

Dr Muhamad Akmal said Umno must be in the government so that it could continue to protect the Malays and Islam, and uphold the royal institution, without disregarding the interests and rights of other races.

Wanita chief Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad said when Barisan decided to work with other parties to form the government, many of its supporters, particularly from Umno, were shocked, disappointed and worried about the party’s future.

“If we can set aside our personal differences for a while, we can see the good and positive side of this decision,” she said.

Noraini pointed out that for one, Umno could prove its maturity and that it could adapt to any situation.

Puteri chief Datuk Nurul Amal Mohd Fauzi described political assimilation as vital for stability and economic prosperity.

She said despite the scepticism of some members, political cooperation between Pakatan and Barisan is necessary.

“Political assimilation is not something new, but it’s still awkward for Umno. We were used to our own way in politics,” she said.

Nurul Amal also said Malaysia has to keep up with other countries that have practised political assimilation to ensure government and economic stability.

Umno Puteri exco member Haryani Sukarman said while the move to form the unity government with other parties was welcome, Umno must remain loyal to its struggles.

“We welcome the spirit of openness in politics. This will provide new perspectives.

“However, while we are sincere in opening up, we must hold on to our struggles,” said Haryani, who is also Sri Gading Puteri chief.

Indera Mahkota Wanita chief Mazlina Mohamed said Umno is no longer the dominant political force and it should respect its current agreement with the unity government.

She added, however, that Umno must stay true to its principles on safeguarding the interests of the Malay Muslims in the country.

She also said it is crucial for Umno to support the unity government to ensure political stability in the country.

“It should be stressed that only with political stability that foreign investors will be more confident in investing in the country, which could improve the economy,” said Mazlina.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Ensure workers don’t resort to slash-and-burn methods, Lee tells M’sian firms operating in Indonesia
Three people nabbed for smuggling RM1.5mil booze
Panic trend abated, local rice stocks in market back to normal, says Chan
Sabah mall closes for a day after fire
Man arrested in JB following brawl
Anwar: Don't make guests wait at govt events
Madani Medical Scheme working well to solve overcrowding issue, says Health Minister
Sabah's water woes will be solved in a few years, says CM
Air quality: Larkin, Batu Pahat residents urged to stay indoors
Pelangai by-election: Large police presence is to ensure security, safety, says Home Minister

Others Also Read