KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — Umno’s Tan Sri Annuar Musa today rubbished assertions of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that PAS, Umno, and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) remains a fragile bloc and would break apart post GE15.
The Ketereh MP, in denying those claims, explained that forming new coalitions always requires a continuous effort and commitment to streamline their political objectives.
He likened this to his tenure as Umno and Barisan Nasional secretary-general when his party were negotiating the terms and conditions of their charter with Islamist party PAS.
“The prediction of Tun (Dr Mahathir) that the coalition is fragile is not very accurate because it can be said that a fairly stable understanding has been formed between Umno and PAS even though there are still some complications between Umno and Bersatu.
“Even in Umno, we are still looking at various opinions. I am confident that Umno can manage differences of opinion and most importantly Umno can have a formula and strategy to win the next GE.
“I am confident Umno can solve it,” Annuar was quoted saying in a report by Malaysiakini today.
This was in response to Dr Mahathir who had recently claimed that the pact between the three dominant Malay parties was only made to further each party’s political objectives under the pretence of uniting behind the Malay-Muslim agenda.
Denying the claims further, Annuar was quoted saying that such tensions between the three parties are currently a non-starter as they have yet to pen an official agreement uniting the trio.
“What binds is the Perikatan Nasional government, so I expect the Umno leadership to continue discussions and negotiations until a formula is reached.
“What is important is that in the end, Bersatu, Umno and PAS should win GE15.
“I think we can be patient and give opportunities to the party leadership,” he said.
Annuar said that negotiations between parties have yet to reach the stage of figuring out seats to contest in elections, adding the green light from the party’s top leadership to initiate talks between Umno and Bersatu was only given last week.
“As far as I know, the distribution of seats between Umno and Bersatu has never been made and there has been no specific discussion between Umno and Bersatu. Unofficially, I dare to state that both parties have their own wish lists and I also dare to state that the differences are there but not too difficult to be resolved.
“Among them are that Bersatu can understand that Umno will contest in more seats because they have more strongholds where they can win seats. Secondly, it has been agreed that Umno will contest using the BN logo and Bersatu using the PN logo,” he was quoted saying.