In Johor, Nur Jazlan says time to rethink support for Perikatan govt amid growing discontent among Umno grassroots

Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed speaks to reporters in Putrajaya in this file picture taken on January 24, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed speaks to reporters in Putrajaya in this file picture taken on January 24, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

JOHOR BARU, Oct 2 — Another Umno leader today called for the party to re-evaluate its support for the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) pact, following its treatment in the recent Sabah state election.

Johor Umno deputy chief Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) need to look into their participation under the PN pact.

Despite PN winning last Saturday’s Sabah state election under the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) banner, he claimed that Umno’s grassroots’ are unhappy as the party has been losing out from the new political partnership it formed with other parties to be in government.

“Looks like Umno’s participation in the PN partnership, unlike BN, lacks sincerity and the spirit of solidarity to unite. In the bigger picture, Umno has strong grounds to withdraw from the ruling pact.

“I won’t stand silent on this matter as this is the party’s grassroots’ sentiment that is not only evident in Johor, but throughout the country,” said Nur Jazlan when contacted by Malay Mail today.

Nur Jazlan, who is also the Pulai Umno division chief, was referring to recent talk of discontent within Umno’s grassroots’ triggered recently by an internal tussle over the Sabah chief minister position between the two allies in GRS which won the Sabah election last Saturday.

BN, which Umno is a part of, as well as PN and local-based Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) make up GRS.

Nur Jazlan, a former deputy minister and federal lawmaker under the previous BN administration, added that there are differences of PN’s winning trend in the Sabah state election if compared to the Peninsular.

He pointed out that the eight Bersatu assemblymen, including newly minted chief minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor, who contested and won were former Umno members who are also former ministers and deputy ministers in Sabah.

“In Sabah, the voters’ pattern is usually based on personality and not so much along party lines.

“However, the trend in Peninsular is different as voters mainly choose based on the parties contesting and not so much on candidates,” said Nur Jazlan, adding that his stand from the start was always to call for an early general election.

With that, Nur Jazlan pointed out to two Bersatu leaders who were seen as instrumental in the party’s campaign in Sabah, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin and also Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad.

“If Hamzah contests in Larut (Perak) and Dr Latiff contests in Mersing (Johor), do you think they can win again?” he asked, alluding to an early poll where Umno would compete with Bersatu on equal ground.

Both Hamzah and Dr Abdul Latiff are former Umno MPs who won their seats in the 14th general elections in 2018 under BN.

However, following the collapse of the previous BN administration, both MPs had quit Umno and declared themselves as independent until they joined Bersatu in 2019.

Yesterday, Umno deputy president Datuk Mohamad Hasan openly questioned the value of his party’s cooperation with Bersatu and the PN pact, noting that it has now cost the party control of Sabah that it had once held for nearly three decades.

The agitation among sections of Umno’s members also came amid the backdrop of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s claim last week of having secured a “formidable” majority with which to take over the government, including from Umno lawmakers.

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