Report: Umno veterans group expects PAS to discard Bersatu if Perikatan suffers decisive defeat in Melaka poll

Umno, PAS and Barisan Nasional flags are seen in Rantau April 12, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Umno, PAS and Barisan Nasional flags are seen in Rantau April 12, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — PAS is expected to discard Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) if the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition suffers a decisive defeat in next month’s Melaka state election, Veteran Umno Malaysia said.

Sinar Harian reported the group’s secretary, Datuk Mustapha Yaakub saying that PAS should not remain in both PN and Muafakat Nasional (MN) on the grounds of acting as peacemaker between Umno and Bersatu as it will only benefit Bersatu alone.

“PAS claims to want to be a peacemaker between Umno-Bersatu, yet the fact remains that it is the party’s strategy to prove its loyalty to the ‘big brother’ in PN that is Bersatu.

“I expect PAS will leave Bersatu and revert to MN if PN suffers a decisive defeat in Melaka,” he was quoted as saying.

The Melaka election is seen by political observers as testing the strengths of Barisan Nasional (BN) and PN prior to the 15th general election, which is due in 2023, but which many foresee will be called earlier.

The PN coalition comprises Bersatu, PAS and Gerakan while the BN coalition consists of Umno, MCA, MIC and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah.

The Melaka state election is set to become the first battleground where both Umno and Bersatu will face off with one another in the polls since the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in February last year.

Mustapha was responding to PAS vice-president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who had proposed a formula for PAS, Umno and ally Bersatu that will help avoid fighting against each other for the same seats and allow them the best possible way to victory in the upcoming Melaka state polls.

Accordingly, Mohd Amar said Umno should contest in 14 seats and let PAS run in six seats and Bersatu take the remaining eight out of the 28-seats in the state legislative assembly.

Mustapha also urged his party leaders not to respond to provocative statements from Bersatu leaders that he said would be geared to portray that the PN coalition is capable of forming a government without Umno.

“Refer to the GE14 results. PAS contested 24 state seats but failed to win, while Bersatu only won two out of six seats it contested.

“I am confident that Umno will move solo and not be with Bersatu or PAS in the upcoming Melaka election. Only the 500,000 voters from Melaka know who they support and let us allow the best party to win,” he was quoted saying.

Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi previously said his party will not ally with Bersatu in the upcoming state elections.

Zahid added that Umno will contest the Melaka election alone even as some of his party colleagues seemed keen to work with PAS.

The Melaka election is slated for November 20. Official election campaigning starts from November 8, which is nomination day.

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