Umno won’t join Perikatan Nasional

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has decided against joining Perikatan Nasional (PN) but will continue to support the coalition to form the federal government as well as several state administrations.

Party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Umno would instead focus on strengthening Muafakat Nasional, its alliance with PAS.

He said the decision not to join PN was made at the Supreme Council meeting on July 24.

“We feel that Muafakat Nasional is the best platform for PAS, Umno and Barisan Nasional parties to face whatever possibilities in the near future,” he told reporters outside the High Court here, adding however that Umno was not pulling out of PN.

When asked if Umno’s decision was related to Najib Razak’s corruption conviction, he said it was “up to the media to interpret it”.

The ex-prime minister was found guilty this week of seven counts of corruption in relation to RM42 million belonging to former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International. He was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and fined RM210 million.

When asked if he believed Muafakat Nasional was the stronger alliance, Zahid said this too was “up to you to interpret”.

“Our decision is final,” he added. “We are not going to be a component member of PN.”

However, he confirmed that Muhyiddin Yassin, who leads PPBM, had expressed interest in joining Muafakat Nasional.

He said the matter would be discussed with PAS, with the decision left to Muafakat Nasional’s central committee.