Umno-Bersatu merger a threat to GPS in coming state polls

Assoc Prof Dr Ahi Sarok

KUCHING: The Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu)’s proposed merger, if materialises, is going to be a threat to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the coming state election.

Political analyst and Associate Prof of Unimas’ Faculty of Social Science Dr Ahi Sarok said the merger would certainly see the entire machinery of Bersatu, Umno and Pakatan Harapan (PH) coming to Sarawak and campaign against GPS.

He believed that if the merger materialises, Bersatu might increase their seats in Parliament from 12 to 30 because there are rumours that at least 17 members of parliament (MPs) from Umno will quit the party and join Bersatu.

“The merger, if it comes to past, will certainly further strengthen the Pakatran Harapan (PH) coalition,” he told The Borneo Post.

He said this when asked to comment on the toying of merger by Umno and Bersatu.

Ahi, however, believed that Bersatu needed to screen those MPs that they wanted to accept in their fold.

He said Bersatu should only accept those MPs, who are seen to be clean and not corrupted.

“The merger is good for the Malays because now the Malays are split. With the merger the Malays are regrouped under PH,” he said.

Perlis Umno deputy chairman Zahidi Zainul Abidin revealed on Wednesday that Umno and Barisan Nasional MPs have met Bersatu leaders to discuss a merger.

Zahidi, who is Padang Besar MP, said the purpose of the discussions was to seek the “best option to save the Malays”.

“We are trying to discuss with Bersatu to save the Malays. We want PAS but PAS is not ready so we are looking for the best option because we want the best for the Malays,” he was reported as saying at Umno headquarters.

He said BN MPs met Bersatu leaders two to three months ago, but refused to disclose the details.

Zahidi said: “We are planning to merge with Bersatu but we do not want to quit Umno.

“Some of the MPs agreed to discuss with Bersatu while some agreed to discuss with PKR. So we will see which one is the best. We have met Bersatu.”

Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had previously confirmed that all Umno MPs had signed statutory declarations, empowering him as party president to negotiate with political parties outside of BN.

He had said such negotiations were to form an alliance which would enable the Malay party to once again assume federal power.

He did not deny the possibility that the party could cooperate with PH, although Umno is now seen to be working closely with PAS.

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