KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — Datuk Osman Sapian has reportedly expressed his dissatisfaction towards the dynamics within the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition and said he had no qualms going against the grain if it meant upholding his political values and party.
In a tell-all interview with Sinar Harian, the former Johor mentri besar accused Umno of bullying Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia by constantly belittling the party and openly condemning its leaders.
“From the central leadership to those in the state [leadership], Umno accused Bersatu of being unworthy to be given seats as they are only riding the coattails of the popularity of others.
“If you look at Umno leaders, even though we are allies, they constantly make comments such as Bersatu are a small party, Bersatu are only clinging on, Bersatu should not be given seats because they have no influence and [party] branches,” he told the paper.
He said such actions by Umno, who is supposed to be Bersatu’s allies in PN, lacked the mutual respect and camaraderie and suggested that Umno was being ungrateful after being offered a lifeline by his party.
Osman said he had no issues being the voice of reason within his party if it meant speaking out against the grain, adding how his 42-years in politics has taught him better than to bow down to bully tactics.
“Due to that, I am acting in this way so that there will be awareness among the leaders and members of the party. Let me be the person that is disliked for voicing out my grouses with Bersatu.
“Considering how we are within the same force. If we are siblings, they must surely first defend their own brothers and sisters. But the total opposite is happening,” he added, referring to Umno.
On the flip side, Osman also expressed his disappointment towards fellow Bersatu colleagues who remained silent despite the open criticism they received from Umno.
He said instead of defending Bersatu, his party colleagues were seen standing by Umno instead and questioned if they were paid off to be silent.
“Up until today, I have yet to see Bersatu leaders pushing back against Umno to stop talking nonsense about Bersatu.
“This is the Bersatu that gave them a lifeline,” he reportedly said, meaning Umno.
“Why are we keeping silent? There were none of our men who defended the party, why was there no action taken against Umno?” he was quoted saying.
Osman also admitted to campaigning alongside independent candidate Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi, a known proxy for Tun Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, at the recent Slim by-election, saying there was nothing wrong with what he did.
He said there was no wrongdoing considering Bersatu is yet to be officially included into Muafakat Nasional, adding he is prepared for any disciplinary action if the party decides to do so.
“You never know, maybe Amir Khusyairi would be open to joining Bersatu after this,” he reportedly said.
Osman also confirmed rumours that he met with a Johor Parti Amanah Negara leader last week, but played the meeting down as a friendly courtesy call to a former Pakatan Harapan ally.
“We spoke about usual political matters which among them was the State Assembly sitting that will start on Sept 10,” he said.