Will Umno still campaign under BN flag, says party veteran

The future of Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional has become the subject of political speculation.

PETALING JAYA: Veteran Umno politician Shahrir Abd Samad has raised the question of whether Umno would still campaign under the Barisan Nasional (BN) banner when the 15th general election comes around.

In a posting today, at which he used the hashtag #BalikAsal, Shahrir said he doesn’t believe the Umno leadership would sideline BN and cease using its banner. However, there might be an electoral pact between BN, PAS and PPBM for the next general election.

He said the main question right now was whether BN and PAS would formally join Perikatan Nasional (PN) as a coalition for the elections, adding that he had started “hearing all sorts of stories” about the polls.

Shahrir Samad is a former MP for Johor Bharu

“If it’s only an electoral pact, the matters that must be negotiated are the allocation of seats between BN, PAS and PN, and the drafting of an offer for voters.

“Let’s just wait for the decision of the Umno Supreme Council and Muafakat Nasional technical committee two to three days from now,” he said in a Facebook post today.

Despite some BN members rejecting the use of the coalition’s emblem, he said that even the MCA stood by the banner at the Tanjung Piai by-election in Johor, giving BN its fourth by-election victory after Cameron Highlands, Semenyih and Rantau.

He also said it was more likely that PPBM and former PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali’s “party” (a reference to Azmin’s bloc of former PKR members) would be declared as PN, and that “Azmin’s party will represent non-Malays in PN, similar to MCA, MIC and BN component parties that represent non-Malays in BN.”

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