Umno risks losing respect if backtracks on resolution

PAU has decided for Umno to sever ties with Bersatu and there is much pressure for party leaders in govt posts to resign

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by ARIF KARTONO

UMNO is at risk of losing members’ and public’s respect if it does not uphold the party’s resolution to break it ties with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia upon Parliament dissolution.

The resolution, which was passed at Umno General Assembly (PAU) 2020 last Sunday, has received mixed reactions among the party leaders.

On Wednesday, Umno veteran Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim said Umno MPs have the liberty to take a different stand on the resolution.

“The government comes first before the party. When we formed the government, it did not go through the party but a number of MPs who agreed to this formation.

“So, when the time comes for the party to decide, not only Umno but MPs or other members can make their stand also.

“But until that moment comes, we will stick with this government,” said Shahidan, who is an MP for Arau.

Political analyst from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Dr Mazlan Ali said Umno and its assembly will not be taken seriously if it does not abide by the decision it makes.

“The Umno meeting is the most supreme platform guided by the Umno constitution, which is used to determine a party’s direction. It has the final say.

“And in this case, PAU has decided for Umno to sever ties with Bersatu and there is much pressure for the party leaders in the government to resign from their post,” Mazlan told The Malaysian Reserve.

“If Umno leaders who hold a government post do not respect the assembly meeting’s decision and refuse to resign, PAU will not be respected anymore.

“The public or even the members may not see it as a serious platform anymore, and this will affect Umno’s authority,” Mazlan said.

He noted that the party is losing respect, while trust deficit is getting wider due to court cases involving the present president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi,” he added.

The Umno Supreme Council had met several times since last year to decide on their ties with Bersatu.

In January, the council decided that such a proposal would only be decided after getting the mandate from the party members at the general assembly.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he managed to convince Umno ministers to remain in the Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Umno VP and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob clarified yesterday that there is no reason for Umno ministers to vacate their ministership as the party did not ask them to do so.

University Malaya political analyst Associate Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said it is important for the party to reiterate its stance and decision on the matter.

“PAU decision is to sever ties with Bersatu and Perikatan Nasional (PN) when the Parliament is dissolved.

“This is in line with Umno Supreme Council’s earlier decision. There is no mention for the ministers to vacate their post when Umno decides to leave PN, when the time comes.

“This must be clarified to avoid confusion so that it may not jeopardise the trust towards PAU as the party’s highest rank policymaker,” said Awang Azman.