KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) acknowledged today the Umno supreme council’s decision that their current political cooperation will only last this term.

Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said his party’s supreme council will discuss the matter later today, and raise it with its other partners in the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.

“In the matter, the political bureau took note of the Umno supreme council’s decision, that is no cooperation with Bersatu in the 15th General Election (GE15) and existing cooperation within the Perikatan Nasional government could be maintained up until the dissolution of Parliament.

“Following that, the political bureau has taken a decision that Bersatu’s stance will be decided during the Bersatu supreme council meeting this evening and the aforementioned stance will also be discussed in the upcoming Perikatan Nasional supreme council meeting with other component parties that is PAS, STAR, SAPP and Gerakan,” Hamzah said in a statement.

He was responding publicly to news reports of a letter to his party president and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin from Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dated February 26.

The letter purportedly conveyed the Umno supreme council’s decision to end their current political cooperation when the next general election is called.

The decision was said to have been made during the Umno supreme council meeting held at Janda Baik, Pahang on February 19 after an overwhelming majority of Umno divisional leaders expressed their desire to discontinue cooperation with Bersatu and instead focus on strengthening their alliance with PAS under Muafakat Nasional.

Umno had initially denied news reports that the party will not work with Bersatu and PN in GE15.

Political observers weighing in on the Malay parties’ tumultuous relationship have said the PN coalition’s future looks dim without Umno.