KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin today added more tension between Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) by saying that the future of his party is determined by its grassroots and has nothing to do with Perikatan Nasional.
The Umno vice-president who has been outspoken against Umno’s cooperation with Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the next general election (GE15) took a swipe at Bersatu over the way they stumbled into power after Pakatan Harapan (PH) government collapsed a year ago.
“Umno is the party of regular people. We are not a party formed by the elites who betrayed the people’s mandate.
“By listening to the grassroots, Umno decided we would contest as Barisan Nasional.
“But what is more important to remember is that the future of Umno is determined by the ordinary people, not by the cooperation with PN,” he said in a statement today.
Khaled also hit out at detractors who claimed Umno had deserted the interest of the Malay Muslim community (Ummah) by insisting it will not cooperate with PN.
He said Umno’s track record clearly showed the party has always pioneered Malay unity that paved way for the country’s independence and has united other Malay parties in the past.
“Umno is the one who accepted back Semangat 46 for the sake of Malay unity. And Umno is also the one who invited PAS to establish Muafakat Nasional.
“Not joining PN does not mean ignoring the interests of the Malays. This is done because Umno has its own political calculations. Umno is not a party with a ‘herd mentality’. Umno is a party with the stance Umno’s survival is more important than PN’s survival,” he said.
It was previously reported that Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had sent a letter dated February 26 to Bersatu’s president and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, conveying 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.
Some Umno leaders however had a different view, among them former Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa who claimed that Umno’s state and division’ leadership will continue to cooperate with Bersatu.
Yesterday, Umno supreme council member and election director Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman told Utusan Malaysia that Annuar who is seen to be close to PN must respect the party’s supreme council’s stance of rejecting to work with Bersatu.