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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan said yesterday that while the party can politically push for the 15th general election (GE15) to be called soon, the decision does not fall in its hands alone.
Despite that, Shahril said the party’s supreme council has previously made public its intention for a snap election in order to return the mandate to voters, and any stronger message will be announced after its meeting today.
“Umno can influence politically, because everyone already knows the number of Umno MPs who have all this while supported the Perikatan Nasional government in the Dewan Rakyat,” he said in a FAQ released on his social media accounts.
“But the decision on the general election is not in the hands of Umno, and besides Umno’s action other parties also have their plans and reactions. All this will be reviewed by the supreme council.”
“The previously announced stance is for the government to return the mandate to the people as soon as possible. If there is a more urgent and specific stand, a statement will be issued afterwards,” he added, referring to the meeting.
He also said that the supreme council acknowledges the public rift between Umno and Bersatu, and the party will decide on its stance tonight.
“As informed by the Umno secretary-general, more than 140 divisions proposed rejecting cooperation with Bersatu,” he said, referring to Datuk Ahmad Masaln.
However, Shahril clarified that Umno has stressed against cooperating with DAP and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during its general assembly in 2019.
He added that Umno would not simply find replacement from political rivals if his party decides to part ways with Bersatu.
Yesterday, Utusan reported that 189 out of 191 Umno division leaders brought up the motion to cut ties with Bersatu during division meetings on January 3 held nationwide.
Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also confirmed that 143 out of 193 Umno division heads refused to work with Bersatu in a survey conducted via WhatsApp.
It was understood that the Umno supreme council meeting will be held tonight at 8pm at the party’s headquarters in the Putra World Trade Centre here.