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Thursday, March 4, 2021

'Umno's decision to sever ties with Bersatu premature as polls far away'


Former BN secretary-general Annuar Musa has described Umno's decision to sever ties with Bersatu for the 15th general election (GE15) as a "premature" stance.

He was referring to a letter sent by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Bersatu president, informing the latter of the decision by the Umno supreme council.

"First, no cooperation with Bersatu in GE15.

"Second, we can stay together in the Perikatan Nasional government until Parliament is dissolved," the letter had read.

However, Annuar said there was no need for Zahid to "quietly send a notice letter to stop cooperation" with Bersatu.

"When we first started this cooperation between the parties, there were no sending of letters to start the cooperation [...]

"What more when there is still something far ahead," Annuar, from Umno, said in a statement today.

The Ketereh MP said there was still a long time before the mandate of the PN government expires.

"The GE period (Parliament's mandate ends in) 2023. There are many things that can happen in that long period of time.

"It places the party (Umno) at a disadvantage. What more when the party needs to go through a mandatory party election this year.

"The party's policies during the coming election will be decided by leaders who will lead when the election is happening. Many things can happen between now until when Parliament is dissolved.

"With this premature stand, we have made ourselves a lame duck and our powers of negotiation in the government have been weakened.

"The ones who will bear the consequences will be the members at the grassroots level," said Annuar, who is also the federal territories minister under the PN government.

Previously, Annuar had said that Umno would be disadvantaged if the party were to pull out of the PN government once Parliament is dissolved.

He was removed from his position as BN secretary-general in early January and was replaced by Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan, who is also Umno secretary-general.

The decision was purportedly made following Annuar's reported remarks which were perceived as being more friendly towards Bersatu.

Bersatu is set to decide on its relationship with Umno this evening, following the letter from Zahid about terminating their cooperation.

In a statement issued this morning, Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin confirmed that Zahid had sent the letter on Feb 26. - Mkini

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