PETALING JAYA: Senior Umno leaders are taking PAS’ decision to work with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in the coming Johor state election in their stride, saying it was not unexpected.Umno deputy president Datuk Mohamad Hasan said since PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia were part of Perikatan Nasional, the announcement was nothing extraordinary.

“Of course they will work together under the Perikatan banner in the coming Johor election,” he said when contacted.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the partnership came as no surprise to them, as they had done the same in the Melaka state election.

“There is nothing shocking here,” said the Pontian MP.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the party was unfazed by PAS’ decision to work with Bersatu.

“The stronger PAS holds on to Bersatu’s raft, the further away we too will drift,” he said when contacted, adding that working together involved a matter of principle.

“During the Umno general assembly, we decided against any partnership with DAP, PKR and Bersatu. We cannot change the decision unless we go back to the assembly.

“PAS understands this but still chooses to work with Bersatu. That is their choice,” he said.

In Seremban, Mohamad said Umno’s revival was purely due to the support of the Malays and had nothing to do with PAS.

He said more Malays were supporting the party due to the poor performances of the Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan governments.“You can call Umno a duck, a goose, a tiger and so on, but you must accept the fact that it is still the largest Malay party and also the largest political party in Malaysia,” he said in a statement.

On Friday, PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang had accused certain Umno leaders of being ungrateful, saying it was PAS which had “saved” Umno following its defeat in the last general election.

He described Umno as a duck that had broken its legs and that despite PAS’ noble gesture, Umno, which had since “healed”, had chosen to abandon the party and “swim” on its own again.

Mohamad said PAS should be mindful that without Umno, it would not be part of the federal government today.

He said PAS knew that without Umno, it would not be able to remain as part of the federal government after the next general election.“So, if PAS feels that Barisan Nasional is no longer relevant, we shall return to the people to decide.

“We will also let the people decide if PAS and Perikatan are still relevant,” he added.