Umno today warned PAS not to interfere in the party’s problems with Bersatu, describing the Islamist party as a “small” entity, in remarks that are likely to further undermine the Muafakat Nasional pact between Umno and PAS.
Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, Umno’s election chief, said his party’s decision not to cooperate with Bersatu was also final, rejecting an offer by PAS to play the role of peacemaker.
“PAS is a small party, but Umno is big and we are not prepared to be treated as small,” Tajuddin told reporters today.
His remarks followed an offer by PAS yesterday to mediate between Umno and Bersatu, in the wake of Umno’s decision not to cooperate with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at the next polls.
Several Umno leaders have been urging PAS to quit the Perikatan Nasional bloc led by Muhyiddin, saying the Islamist party should be bound by the Muafakat Nasional charter it signed in 2019.
The charter formally ended a decades-long war between Umno and PAS, but the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government last year rendered it irrelevant.
PAS has repeatedly stated its commitment to Muhyiddin’s government, and has welcomed Bersatu to become a third member of Muafakat Nasional.
Tajuddin, the Pasir Salak MP, said Bersatu should be grateful to Umno for allowing it to hold top positions in the government.
He added that Umno was well prepared to face the election either on its own or with PAS.
“Umno will rise again after GE15. If we go it alone, Umno can win 120 seats but if we join with PAS, Umno will win 96 seats.”
Tajuddin also said Umno had thoroughly considered the matter before deciding to cut ties with Bersatu, adding that PAS would not be able to understand the problem.