PETALING JAYA: Umno would have been wiped out a lot earlier if it had joined forces with PAS as the Islamic party would be reluctant to allow Umno to contest in seats it held, according to Umno Supreme Council member Ahmad Maslan.
Ahmad said that many of the opposition’s state and parliamentary seats were held by PAS. “If Umno is not with PAS, we will be able to challenge them for the seats in the next four years and wrest them if PAS don’t serve the constituents well,” Utusan Malaysia quoted him as saying.
Ahmad, who is Johor Umno deputy chief, said PAS had previously proclaimed that it wanted to replace Umno as the party that championed the Malays and Islam, while “PKR never made such a declaration, nor did Bersatu”.
His remarks about relations with PAS come in the wake of a claim by PAS spiritual leader Hashim Jasin that Umno would be buried at the next general election because of its cooperation with DAP in the unity federal coalition.
“We in PAS have never declared Umno as an enemy, and they are welcome to work with us anytime, in the name of ummah,” said Hashim, according to Malaysiakini.
On Monday, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad contended that Umno would be wiped out at the next general election following PAS’s landslide victory in the Kemaman by-election on Saturday.
Mahathir said the situation in Kemaman signifies a further erosion of support for Umno, primarily due to the party’s collaboration with DAP.
In the Saturday by-election, PAS vice-president Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar was elected with 64,998 votes while the Barisan Nasional candidate, Raja Affandi Raja Noor, a retired general and former defence forces chief, garnered 27,778 votes.