KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Umno’s ordinary members were opposed to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) joining the Muafakat Nasional (MN) pact, according to Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
The Umno deputy president told Free Malaysia Today that his party’s grassroots have not forgotten Bersatu’s attacks against their party when the two had still been rivals prior to the 14th general election.
He also said the matter should have been put before the Umno supreme council rather than leaving the matter to the MN steering committee as party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did.
“For Umno, we need to get the mandate from the supreme council, as it is the highest decision-making body in the party.
“It is no different to when we decided to form MN with PAS, as the final decision was made by the supreme council,” he was quoted as saying.
Mohamad asserted that feedback he received from grassroots members showed a general rejection of Bersatu, which is a splinter party of Umno.
Former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad formed Bersatu in 2016 after he left Umno following a failed campaign to have the Malay nationalist party remove Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the prime minister.
Bersatu went on to attack Umno as corrupt and complicit in Najib’s 1MDB scandal, which eventually led to Umno and Barisan Nasional being voted out of power.
“Many Umno members still remember the insults, disparaging and disrespectful remarks hurled at us, and still feel hurt.
“My presence here as deputy president is because of the grassroots, so their interests must be looked after,” he said further in the report.
After announcing Umno’s refusal to formally join Perikatan Nasional last month, Zahid disclosed that Bersatu intended to join MN.
On Sunday, BN secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said Bersatu’s entry into MN was provisionally approved.
Zahid has said that the views of Umno’s grassroots would be considered before MN finalises its decision on Bersatu’s entry but did not elaborate.