KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi denied yesterday that his party will contest for seats belonging to Perikatan Nasional (PN) ally Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
The former deputy prime minister, who is leading Umno’s campaign in the Slim by-election in Perak, called the allegation by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad baseless, according to a Malaysiakini report.
“I think it’s best to look at the fact that his statement is not based on research or information which was obtained from reliable sources,” Ahmad Zahid was quoted as saying.
“Maybe what he mentioned was from unreliable sources, just as when he led the government.”
Dr Mahathir alleged in a blog post yesterday that the Umno Supreme Council has decided to contest in all seats held by Bersatu.
Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin issued a statement on the same day purporting that the party’s highest decision-making body has decided that Barisan Nasional would contest in all the seats it lost in the 14th general election.
This included seats Umno lost to Bersatu, either directly through the election or later via defections.
Zahidi added that if Bersatu wanted to contest, they should do so in other constituencies.
In a sharp posting published on his blog yesterday evening, Dr Mahathir bade a symbolic farewell to the party he helped form, and accused Bersatu members who stayed with the party as choosing profit above principles by backing PN.
Dr Mahathir was formerly Bersatu chairman and one of its founding members. The ruling party revoked his membership after he sat with the Opposition during the May parliamentary meeting.
He said the party will be left with no seat to contest in the upcoming election as Umno has decided to contest in all constituencies formerly contested by Bersatu.