BERA, Dec 18 ― Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he feels more comfortable not expressing his view when asked whether the Umno election or 15th general election (GE15) should be held first although as the prime minister he can think about a suitable time to call for GE15.

Ismail Sabri, who is Umno vice-president, said this issue of which election should come first had seen party members expressing various views.

“However, this (dissolution of Parliament) is not the absolute right of the prime minister because it needs the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah).

“Let’s not preempt the powers of the King by making advance statements on matters which come under His Majesty’s jurisdiction,” he said when winding up the debate at the Bera Umno division delegates meeting here today.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri, who is Bera Umno division chief, said Umno needed to make a decision on its cooperation with PAS under Muafakat Nasional (MN) so that party grassroots would not be confused.

He said this decision should be made by the Umno supreme council (MT) or Umno general assembly which is scheduled to be held in January next year.

“The Umno-PAS cooperation through MN has not been abandoned because there is no decision saying we should cut ties, whether from MT or the general assembly which has yet to be held. This means there is no decision yet to reverse the earlier decision (agreeing to cooperation). 

“The decision still stands, meaning we should cut down on statements about PAS. There needs to be a clear decision because at the moment some say yes, others say no (to the cooperation),” he told reporters after the meeting.

Ismail Sabri is of the view that MN still exists although it has not met for a long time, and he hoped the two parties could meet again soon.

He said the lack of a clear stand had caused some Umno leaders in states like Selangor to make statements about supporting cooperation with PAS while some in Terengganu wanted to end it.

“Selangor’s statement expressing its wish to continue the cooperation is not wrong because it is in accordance with what was decided at the last assembly. Bera Umno will also continue cooperating with PAS, and I believe Pahang too will abide by that assembly (decision). 

“I am of the view that there should be relaxation for states to make decisions suitable to their respective states. Terengganu is different from Pahang and what is suitable here cannot be forced upon Selangor,” he added.

On today’s delegates meeting, Ismail Sabri said the Bera division had approved a resolution for him to continue leading the country for the full term until 2023 to give room for him to stabilise the political situation, contain the Covid-19 pandemic and revive the national economy. ― Bernama