Umno says no to DAP, but will enhance ties with PAS and GPS

Ahmad Maslan – MalaysiakiniPix

By John Isaac

A MEETING between Umno division heads and the party leadership yesterday resolved not to cooperate with DAP.

However, the meeting resolved that the party should strengthen ties with PAS and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

This was revealed by Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan to the press after the meeting at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Asked if Umno would work with PKR and Amanah, Ahmad said that this was not discussed during the meeting.

“We didn’t discuss negotiations with other parties. Regarding cooperation with other parties (other than PAS and GPS), we will wait and see,” he said as reported by Malaysiakini.

A total of 189 division heads attended the meeting that was called in place of the party’s usual national general assembly in view of protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The meeting was held in order to refine the resolutions that would be brought to the party’s annual national delegate’s conference.

This past weekend saw 189 Umno divisions holding their respective annual general meetings, save for the Tanah Merah division, which has been suspended, and the Tuaran division, which will be meeting later this week.

The decision for Umno not to work with DAP came amidst signs of some compromise between the two traditional enemies.

On Dec 4, the two parties worked together to oust Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu as the Perak menteri besar.

Following this, new Menteri Besar Saarani Mohamad ensured equal government funding for the state’s 59 assemblypersons, which included DAP lawmakers.

Two other states that have enacted similar policies are Johor and Perlis – both ruled by Umno. Prior to 2020, Umno-ruled state governments had never provided funding to opposition lawmakers.

The move to oust Faizal was not supported by PAS, which is an Umno ally by virtue of their Muafakat Nasional electoral pact.

PAS has been under pressure by Umno to ditch Bersatu and its Perikatan Nasional coalition to focus on Muafakat. However, PAS has remained steadfast that it has the freedom to join the PN coalition.

Meanwhile, Ahmad said that the party’s supreme council – the executive body – would be meeting tonight, at which the decisions made by division leaders would be scrutinised.

He did not confirm nor deny that Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had proposed that all party members should resign from their government positions.

“The meeting (today) is very important,” he said.

Some news reports claimed that Zahid told the division leaders today that party members holding ministerial or GLC positions should resign before Feb 1 to force a fresh election.

Zahid allegedly expressed unhappiness with the present federal government’s management of Tabung Haji and the death of Fire and Rescue Department personnel Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

He also allegedly said that the government had failed to take action against a minister for engaging in unnatural sex.

Zahid is currently facing corruption trials. If convicted, he might not be able to qualify as a candidate in the next election.