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JOHOR BARU, March 31 — Johor Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) division chief Datuk Osman Sapian today said that his party has decided to cease all cooperation with Umno in the state and will contest the next general election without the Malay nationalist party as an ally.
He said Bersatu will now focus on strengthening their cooperation with PAS and Gerakan who are formal partners in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
“The decision made at both the Johor Bersatu and also state PN meeting has decided that Bersatu will effectively cease any political cooperation with Umno for the state.
“However, this decision will not affect the current state PN government in Johor that is led by Umno’s Datuk Hasni Mohammad who is the mentri besar,” Osman told Malay Mail after attending the Johor Bersatu leadership meeting and also the state PN meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Zenith Hotel, Putrajaya earlier today.
For Johor Bersatu, all 26 of its division chiefs or deputies were present.
Besides the decision to end all cooperation with Umno, Osman said that Bersatu and its other partners in the PN coalition have agreed that they will contest in all 56 state and 26 federal seats.
He said the meeting also touched on seat distributions and strategy for an impending poll.
“We will go head-on with Umno or Barisan Nasional (BN) for the coming 15th general elections that may be called soon.
“This is the decision reached for Johor during the meeting just now,” said the seasoned politician.
Osman, who is also the Ayer Hitam Bersatu division chief, said today’s decision for Bersatu to split from Umno was expected after the former was heavily criticised during the party’s annual assembly in Kuala Lumpur last weekend.
“I am disappointed that a mentri besar (Hasni) appointed with the support of Bersatu in Johor had claimed that the Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin is weak in Pagoh.
“In addition, he claimed that PN support from the Malays in Johor is only at 26 per cent.
“Tan Sri (Muhyiddin) has been the Pagoh MP since 1978. If there is no support, how can he win,” he said.