Thursday, February 25, 2021

Big mistake if we clash with PAS, warns Umno man

Ahmad Maslan says his party cannot afford to make the same mistakes it did in the 2018 polls.

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An Umno leader has warned that clashing with PAS during the 15th general election could bring about a repeat of the 2018 results in which Pakatan Harapan (PH) scored a historic victory against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

Ahmad Maslan, the Umno secretary-general, said the close ties between the country’s two largest Malay parties should not be tainted by the “personal agendas” of some to the point of causing conflict over parliamentary seats, as had happened in GE14.

“We have held seat negotiations to prevent any clashes,” he told MalaysiaNow.

“We do not want a repeat of history where we lost 32 parliamentary seats in GE14 because of conflict.

Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan.

“Imagine if 32 seats were taken away from the 121 that PH won on the night of May 9,” he added. “PH would not have won. We do not want this to happen again.”

MalaysiaNow previously reported that cracks had begun to appear in Muafakat Nasional, the charter of cooperation inked between PAS and Umno in September last year.

A source familiar with talks on seat distribution said there had been disagreements over seats in Kedah and Terengganu.

But Ahmad said there were only few problems between Umno and PAS, adding that the bulk of negotiations at the highest levels were proceeding well.

“We don’t have many issues with PAS,” he said. “We haven’t begun negotiations with Bersatu, so we don’t yet know what the situation there is like.

“But with PAS, negotiations have been cordial so far. We ask that there be no clashes, because if there are, we will lose out and PH will win.

“Do not allow a repeat of the mistakes we made in GE14 by clashing with PAS. We were the ones who lost. We should be the ones ruling right now.”

In the May 9, 2018 polls, three-way fights between PH, BN and PAS saw the coalition led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad ousting the administration of Najib Razak on the back of the 1MDB scandal.

The subsequent cooperation between Umno and PAS saw them defeating PH in several by-elections in Semenyih, Rantau, Cameron Highlands, Kimanis, and Tanjung Piai.

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