Johor GE seat talks? State Umno chief says national discussions with PAS must happen first

(From left) Johor PAS commissioner Abdullah Husin and state Umno chief Datuk Hasni Mohammad after chairing the state-level Muafakat Nasional (MN) meeting at Jen Hotel, Puteri Harbour in Iskandar Puteri July 26, 2020. — Picture by Ben Tan
(From left) Johor PAS commissioner Abdullah Husin and state Umno chief Datuk Hasni Mohammad after chairing the state-level Muafakat Nasional (MN) meeting at Jen Hotel, Puteri Harbour in Iskandar Puteri July 26, 2020. — Picture by Ben Tan

ISKANDAR PUTERI, July 26 — Johor’s first state level Muafakat Nasional (MN) meeting here today only concerned how the Umno-PAS alliance can improve their ties, Datuk Hasni Mohammad said, parrying anticipation on electoral seat distribution for GE15.

The Johor Umno chief said neither his party nor PAS raised the issue of seat distribution amid speculations of a snap election.

“For us at the state level, our decisions must reflect that of the national level in an effort to make the working relationship between Umno and PAS stronger.

“At the present, there is no directive to raise the issue. The discussion only centred on strengthening the MN pact in Johor,” Hasni told a press conference at Jen Hotel in Puteri Harbour here this evening.

Earlier, Hasni and Johor PAS Commissioner Abdullah Husin attended the first MN state level meeting that was also attended by leaders from both Malay parties.

On the issue of a pending snap election and the pact’s preparedness, Hasni said he will only respond on the matter when the announcement is made.

Attention was given to today’s MN meeting after Malay daily Sinar Harian reported Johor Umno deputy chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed saying yesterday that its talks will concern GE15 without involving their Perikatan Nasional (PN) partner, Bersatu.

“Bersatu thinks its strong and doesn’t need to partner anyone. We are the ones who have to partner with it,” he was quoted saying in a joking manner.

Hasni, who is also the Johor mentri besar, said the meeting today mainly touched on both parties agreeing to form a monitoring committee under the MN pact.

“We agreed to form a committee that will consist of 12 leaders each from Umno and PAS to look into promoting and initiating MN programmes in all 56 state constituencies in the state,” the 61-year-old Benut assemblyman said.

He added that the committee will be jointly chaired between the state leaders of both Umno and PAS during the pact’s monthly meetings.

Abdullah gave his full commitment that Johor PAS will back the state MN’s initiative as both parties are bound by a charter.

He pointed out that any pending issues between the two parties will be discussed and settled in a harmonious manner in an effort to maintain the MN pact.

“Both Umno and PAS will cooperate in solving any issues we have together as our objective is for the benefit of the people,” said Abdullah.

MN is a political pact that was formed between Umno and PAS for political cooperation between the two largest Malay-Muslim parties last year to unite the Muslim community or Ummah for electoral purposes.

MN is also committed to the agreement that in the 15th General Election, it would be a one-on-one contest between Perikatan Nasional and the Opposition.

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