KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — The 2021 Melaka state election is set to become the first battleground where both Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia will face off with one another in the polls since the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in February last year.

Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted saying his party will not ally with Bersatu in the upcoming state elections after Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam consented to the dissolution of the state assembly yesterday.

“I am sorry, no way,” Ahmad Zahid was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini in a brief text message when asked on Umno’s stance and if the existing cooperation between both parties in the government would continue at the polls.

Ahmad Zahid also agreed that the Melaka state election will be an acid test for Umno to prove that it need not Bersatu to win an election.

Both Umno and Bersatu are two of the largest component parties that formed the ruling government which is currently led by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob from Umno.

However, both parties do not see eye to eye, with Umno previously withdrawing its support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Bersatu and the PN government last month, leading to the government’s collapse and Muhyiddin’s resignation as prime minister.

Ahmad Zahid’s remark today affirmed the party’s stand that it would not cooperate with Bersatu in the 15th general election (GE15) has been finalised as the decision was not merely a resolution from the party’s supreme working council but born of a voice at the grassroots level at the 2020 Umno General Assembly.

The four assemblymen who withdrew support for Sulaiman are: Datuk Seri Idris Haron (Sungai Udang), Datuk Nor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundur), Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas), and Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu).

Idris was the chief minister before Sulaiman. Both he and Nor Azman are from Umno while Noor Effendi is from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

Norhizam was formerly from DAP before becoming an independent.

Melaka has 28 state constituencies and Perikatan Nasional currently has the support of 17 lawmakers before the withdrawal of the four assemblymen.