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

KUALA LUMPUR – The Umno supreme council will have the final say on the party’s cooperation with Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) in the 15th General Election, said 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 is 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 5” Umno leaders are president Zahid Hamidi, deputy president Mohamad Hasan, and the three vice-presidents – Mr Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Mr Mahdzir Khalid and the prime minister himself.

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 alone in the 15th General Election (GE15).

Cooperation with the Muafakat Nasional party was signed with much pomp by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and his Umno counterpart Zahid with 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.