SUNGAI BESI: The Umno supreme council will have the final say on the party’s cooperation with PAS in the 15th General Election (GE15), says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Umno vice-president said as a party that practised openness, Umno would hear the views of all its members on the matter.

“The decision on whether Umno should end discussions on cooperation with PAS will ultimately be made by the Umno supreme council,” he said when met by reporters after the Semarak Patriotik IPT 2022 event at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia here yesterday.

Ismail Sabri was asked to comment on several Umno divisions that had called for the party to end talks with PAS.

He stated that the Umno “top five” meeting to discuss the general election, which is scheduled for tomorrow, had been rescheduled to a later date.

“Perhaps this matter can also be raised during the upcoming supreme council meeting,” he said.

The “top five” Umno leaders refer to the president, deputy president and the three vice-presidents.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan has maintained that the party would continue to see Umno as its “partner” under the concept of unity of the ummah.

Last week, Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also confirmed that “discussions” between Umno and PAS were just “informal talks” and that neither party’s leaders were there.

Umno also repeated its previous stance that it was prepared to go alone in GE15.

The Muafakat Nasional cooperation was signed with much pomp by PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang and his Umno counterpart Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi with a rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 14, 2019.

PAS vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar reportedly said on Wednesday that leaders in Muafakat Nasional must cast aside their egos and try to reach a consensus.

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan also said any review of the decision not to work with PAS could only be made by the Umno supreme council.

In Butterworth, Takiyuddin said his party was willing to give Umno more time to discuss their alliance in GE15 before Parliament was dissolved.

“PAS is not in any hurry on the matter as there is still time to discuss it before GE15 is held.

“There are ongoing discussions between both parties, be it at the state or grassroots level.

“Our discussion with Umno can happen at all levels,” he said after launching a RM500mil project to boost electricity supply in Penang.

Asked if the PAS leadership would persuade Umno to revive Muafakat, Takiyuddin said no, but reiterated the party’s stand that PAS was willing to talk to any party, including those in the Opposition.

Ahmad Zahid was recently quoted as saying that PAS was always playing safe and “bathing in several ponds”, hinting that Umno was firm in its stance not to work with the Islamist party.

However, Abdul Hadi was reported as saying that the Muafakat Nasional pact was still on and might feature in GE15.