Umno supreme council has final say on PAS pact in Malaysia's general election: PM Ismail

Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob was asked to comment on several Umno divisions that had called for the party to end talks with PAS. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - The Umno supreme council will have the final say on the party's cooperation with Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) for the 15th general election, said Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Umno vice-president said that as a party that practises openness, Umno would hear the views of all its members on the matter.

"The decision on whether Umno should end discussions on cooperation with PAS will ultimately be made by the Umno supreme council," Datuk Seri Ismail told reporters after an event at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia on Thursday.

Mr Ismail was asked to comment on several Umno divisions that had called for the party to end talks with PAS.

He also said that the Umno "top five" meeting to discuss the general election, which was scheduled for Saturday, had been rescheduled to a later date.

"Perhaps this matter can also be raised during the upcoming supreme council meeting," Mr Ismail said.

The top five Umno leaders are president Zahid Hamidi, deputy president Mohamad Hasan, and the three vice-presidents - Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and the prime minister himself.

Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said on Friday that the meeting has been postponed as Mr Ismail will be officiating Sukan Malaysia (Sukma), the national multi-sports event, in Bangi, Selangor.

The meeting will be moved to Sept 30.

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan has maintained that the party would continue to see Umno as its partner under the concept of unity of the ummah.

Last week, Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin also confirmed that discussions between Umno and PAS were just "informal talks" and that neither party's leaders were there.

Umno also repeated its previous stance that it was prepared to go it alone in the next general election (GE15).

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and his Umno counterpart Zahid had agreed to cooperate under the Muafakat Nasional pact at a rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 14, 2019.

PAS vice-president Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar reportedly said on Wednesday that leaders in Muafakat Nasional must cast aside their egos and try to reach a consensus.

Datuk Seri Mohamad, Umno's deputy president, also said any review of the decision not to work with PAS could only be made by the Umno supreme council.

In Butterworth, Datuk Seri Takiyuddin said his party was willing to give Umno more time to discuss their alliance in GE15 before Parliament was dissolved.

He said: "PAS is not in any hurry on the matter as there is still time to discuss it before GE15 is held. There are ongoing discussions between both parties, be it at the state or grassroots level.

"Our discussion with Umno can happen at all levels."

Asked if the PAS leadership would persuade Umno to revive Muafakat Nasional, Mr Takiyuddin said no, but reiterated the party's stand that PAS was willing to talk to any party, including those in the Opposition.

Zahid was recently quoted as saying that PAS was always playing safe and "bathing in several ponds", hinting that Umno was firm in its stance not to work with the Islamist party.

However, Tan Sri Abdul Hadi was reported as saying that the Muafakat Nasional pact was still on and might feature in GE15.


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