Umno has decided that the MoU between the BN-led federal government and the Pakatan Harapan opposition group would not be extended beyond its July deadline.
In the same breath, Umno has also decided that PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob will be the PM candidate or poster boy for the Barisan Nasional in the next General Elections.
Some observers believe this is an attempt from Umno’s ‘court cluster’ to get the Prime Minister on board with their plans to force early elections.
However, the Prime Minister thanked the party and the members who have chosen him as the PM candidate, saying this is proof the party is not divided. He did not comment on whether the MoU will be dissolved to make way for elections.
Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan stated in a statement that the party will call an extraordinary general meeting on May 14 to alter the party’s constitution regarding the election season.
He claimed the decision was decided during a meeting of the party’s leadership earlier today.
“The Umno Supreme Council, in a meeting chaired by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (above) today, has made several decisions.
“Number one, the position of the MOU between the federal government and Pakatan Harapan, which ends this July 31, 2022, it has been decided that this agreement is not to be continued any further,” he said.
The court cluster is composed of Ex-PM Najib Razak and his then deputy PM, who is currently Umno’s President and leader, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Both are accused of corruption, and Najib is awaiting the Court of Appeals’ final ruling to learn his fate. He is a convicted politician who faces a 12-year prison term, but he was granted a stay of execution pending the outcome of his final appeal.
The government and Pakatan Harapan leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Transformation and Political Stability in September of last year, making history.
The MoU, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, would foster strong bipartisan collaboration in the spirit of the “Malaysian Family.”
He said that this was also in line with the proclamation issued by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at the commencement of the 14th Parliament’s First Meeting of the Fourth Term.
The COVID-19 plan, administrative transformation, legislative reform, judiciary independence, Malaysia Agreement 1963, and the establishment of a steering committee are all covered under the pact, termed the MoU on Transformation and Political Stability.
The accord went into effect right away on Sept 13 and will remain in place until parliament is abolished.
Umno is pushing for elections saying the MoU can be dissolved at any given time to make way for fresh elections.
However, according to Umno’s Annuar Musa, the moment has come for Ismail Sabri to be named Barisan Nasional chairman.
This comes after Umno agreed to nominate Ismail, the party’s vice-president, as its prime ministerial candidate in the next 15th general election.
The pro-Sabri camp in Umno is now pushing for the latter to have total control of the party of the Barisan coalition.
PAS against early polls?
On the other hand, the Party Islam Se-Malaysia or PAS says it fully supports Sabri as the PM and hopes the MoU and unity between the government and the opposition will continue.
The PAS says the MoU has created stability and a good political climate in the country.
“This approach will certainly continue to be supported by all parties on a bipartisan basis for the good of the country.
“PAS is also confident that the Memorandum of Understanding on Transformation and Political Stability between the Federal Government and the Opposition which is generally effective from the date it is signed and applies until the dissolution of the 14th Parliament of Malaysia will continue to help the country’s recovery process.
“This should be under the leadership of Ismail Sabri in all aspects including health, economy, social and life as well as the lives of the people,” it says, clearly going against Umno’s court clusters’ attempt to dissolve the agreement.