JOHOR BARU, Aug 15 — Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin tonight welcomed Bersatu to participate in Muafakat Nasional (MN), its political pact with Islamist party PAS.
However, he warned Bersatu not to use MN to coerce Umno into joining Perikatan Nasional (PN) as part of its grand coalition of Malay parties.
“Umno’s participation in MN must not be used in pushing Umno to join PN.
“Being part of MN is very much different from being part of PN,” he wrote on his Facebook page in an apparent response to Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s earlier remarks on the issue.
Muhyiddin who is also prime minister was earlier reported saying Bersatu’s participation in MN will be finalised soon.
He had indicated that Bersatu’s entry into MN was premised on the Umno-PAS pact’s support of PN as a grand coalition.
“I am confident that this is the best option for Bersatu. We choose to be part of a coalition of major parties in our country.
“With the cooperation between Bersatu, Umno, PAS and other parties in the PN, a vast majority of the people will be on our side,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying at the opening of his party wings’ divisional meetings in Kuala Lumpur by national news agency Bernama earlier today.
The MN partnership between Umno and PAS, the country’s two largest Malay parties, was inked last September.
Bersatu, an Umno offshoot founded in 2016, was initially part of the Pakatan Harapan Opposition coalition that cut it ties to ally with Umno and PAS under the informal PN pact that is ruling the country now.