Private negotiations do not represent Umno’s decision, says PM 

According to the Umno VP, for negotiations to be carried out, they must be official and decided by Umno, otherwise, it may be considered unofficial and will not be a decision for the party

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic BERNAMA

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) said private negotiation between Umno and PAS, as reported recently, may have been an unofficial discussion and does not reflect Umno’s stand.

According to the Umno VP, for negotiations to be carried out, they must be official and decided by Umno, otherwise, it may be considered unofficial and will not be a decision for the party.

“I don’t know if there is negotiation or not, but maybe it’s a discussion and so on, we can’t block anyone. Anyone can meet their friends in PAS for a meet-up and discussion but as I said, negotiations can only be valid and become party policy when it is decided by the party. 

“The party must decide who is the legal representative of the party to negotiate and so on, that is from the party; if you go alone, it cannot be considered as representing the party,” he said to the media after officiating the Malaysia International Halal Showcase 2022 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur today.

On the critical seat to avoid a clash between PAS and Umno, he said it is a suggestion that needs to be paid attention to so that there is no clash in the critical seats which, if a clash occurs, the Opposition party may win.

“Maybe Pakatan Harapan (PH) will have an advantage when there is a clash between Barisan Nasional and PAS, for example. In any case, this is a suggestion and I think it can be given consideration because if we can know if there is a clash, PH can win the area. So why do we want to give them a free win? We study in terms of recommendations.

“In any case, as I said, any party decision must be decided in the Umno Supreme Council meeting. If there is such a proposal, it may be brought to the highest council and it needs to discuss and if the council agrees, it can appoint representatives to hold negotiations. 

“That’s why for me every negotiation must be done officially representing the party and decided by the party through the highest council,” he added.

On the demand by Perikatan Nasional (PN) for the deputy prime minister (DPM) post, Ismail Sabri reiterated that the current positions of senior ministers were as equal to the post.

“The privileges obtained by the senior minister are also almost the same as the DPM. And there are four senior ministers, so I have already explained to the representatives of PN which are the two general secretaries and also PN’s Treasurer when they met with me.

“It can be considered official, it can also be considered unofficial, but whether official or unofficial, the senior ministers would want to hear my point of view. So, I have given my own opinion and during the interview the year I became PM, I already explained that it’s better to focus on preparing for the elections.

“Today, as PM, I focus more on restoring the economy and solving issues related to the people such as the rising cost of living and so on. I think that’s more important.

“The main focus is to reduce the pressure of the people in terms of price increases and so on. The second is in terms of restoring the economy. I see from the comments on social media and so on, that the people want this matter — not to discuss other matters. My answer is clear that there is no need so far,” he further added.