Malaysia: Sources: Seat talks in BN stalled, thanks to Umno

  • EVEN as Umno is calling for quick elections, seat talks among Barisan Nasional component parties have been stuck in a stalemate since Jan 21, said sources.
  • They told The Malaysian Insight that talks have remained suspended since Umno president and BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi removed his critic Annuar Musa as the pact’s secretary-general in Jan 21.
  • The sources also said the stalemate was attributed to Umno’s attitude in demanding seats traditionally contested by other BN parties.
  • They added that Zahid has also yet to discuss with BN partners on the pact’s direction in the 15th general election.
  • The BN leaders are however scheduled to meet on 5 Apr 21 night to discuss several matters, including its position in the next general election.
  • A source stated that seat talks have not even started with PAS, and they are now left wondering if Umno will cooperate with the Islamist party or not as was agreed previously in the Umno-PAS Muafakat Nasional pact.
  • At the same time, Umno has also asked PAS to make up its mind over its partnership in MN.
  • However PAS has indicated its preference to work with Bersatu and PN, although it has called on Umno to continue working together for the sake of the Malay-Muslim community.
  • The other parties in BN – MCA, MIC and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) – have said that Umno’s decision does not reflect the pact’s stand as it has not been discussed within BN.
  • The source also said the other problem was that while top level preliminary discussions had kick-started in 2020, Umno’s division and grassroots leaders have been making public announcements from time to time in demanding seats previously allocated to party allies.
  • As such, Umno leaders have demanded to contest in many traditional seats belonging to MCA and MIC.
  • This comes as The Malaysian Insight carried a report last week in which MIC vice president Sivarraajh Chandran rejected Umno’s demand for the Indian party’s seats for GE15.
  • He added that Umno should respect MIC and that it was an insult to ask for the traditional seats to be vacated.

External Link :