Perlis Umno strongman Shahidan Kassim today refuted a comment by the party’s deputy president Mohamad Hasan that Umno’s current position in the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government is isolated and non-dominant.
Speaking to reporters in Kuala Lumpur, he insisted that the Malay party plays a more significant role in the coalition than its other components.
“That is the opinion of the deputy president, but our current position is that Umno has nine ministers and almost 20 deputy ministers.
“This is more than Bersatu, PAS and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS). PAS has three ministers, GPS has three, Bersatu has eight and Barisan Nasional, including Umno, has 11.”
He also said it would not be necessary for Umno to make a decision on its relationship with Bersatu tomorrow, during the ongoing general assembly, as the 15th general election was still far off.
“The election is not going to happen any time soon, so why should this discussion happen as it it’s tomorrow?” he said.
He added that views on whether Umno holds the dominant position in PN or otherwise should be further discussed.
Previously, in an exclusive interview with MalaysiaNow, Shahidan said that Perlis Umno would maintain its relationship with PN.
He also threatened to cut ties with the party’s central leadership if Umno leaders insisted during the general assembly on severing its relationship with Bersatu.
He added that he would not be perturbed if action is taken against the state chapter.
“Once Perlis Umno decides, if they want to expel us, let it be,” Shahidan, the Perlis Umno chief who is also the chairman of PN backbenchers club, said.
In his opening speech this morning, Mohamad had stressed the issue of Umno’s cooperation with Bersatu, saying his party played an “isolated and non-dominant” role in the ruling government.
“We would rather sit down than rise to be the dominant party,” he said, adding that Umno had made it clear from the beginning that it would not join PN.