KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin today rejected an invitation by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for Umno to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).
He said Umno’s stance is that Bersatu is a mere partner to DAP, and has never been serious about the Malay agenda.
“I stand firm that Umno will remain Umno. With clear principles and aspirations, we will continue to strive to change ourselves for the better, using our own ways, for the sake of Malays, Islam and a more progressive Malaysia.
“Therefore, I personally and on behalf of Umno as a whole, cordially but firmly reject the invitation for Umno to join PPBM,” Mohamed Khaled said in a statement.
He also expressed confusion at the overture, adding he recalled how Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had claimed Umno is now dead.
“Umno is damaged and a corrupt party as it supposedly only wanted to defend certain leaders as Tun Mahathir alleged?
“So does this mean Tun Mahathir now views Umno as a dead party come back to life, miraculously free from corruption or damage?” Khaled asked.
He said the party would maintain its ground by remaining as it should be.
“This is what Umno and PAS are doing. Under the agenda of unity of the ummah, comes forth strategies, narratives, and good intentions, which have led to the support and acceptance of the Malays nationwide.
“We do not want to become a desperate party, crazed for power up to the point we refuse to rectify ourselves properly. I hope Tun Mahathir will not stand in the way of Umno’s restoration and resurrection,” Khaled said.
Mahathir, who is PPBM chairman, yesterday invited all political parties to join PPBM in efforts to unite and enhance the political strength of the Malay community.
Mahathir said Malays were today divided into six parties, and the existence of so many Malay-based parties has narrowed the chances of them winning the general election.