KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — Umno has today directed its campaigners to prepare for an eventual Melaka state election in accordance to Covid-19 regulations, following a meeting of its Supreme Council tonight.
However, its Melaka chapter chief Datuk Seri Abdul Rauf Yusoh said it has yet to reach a consensus on its strategy to either face the Melaka state elections alone or aligned with other parties.
“No decision yet. We will have a meeting again [to decide on it],” he said briefly when met at the Umno headquarters here this evening.
Rauf, who was seen entering Menara Dato Onn earlier today accompanied by caretaker minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, left at around 11.20pm alone.
His departure was then followed by several other leaders, including Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahman, Jelebu MP Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias.
It is understood the meeting was held to decide Umno’s stance on state election’s potentially being held in Melaka.
A statement issued later by party secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan also said that Datuk Seri Idris Haron and Datuk Nor Azman Hassan are no longer Umno members, after their decision which later resulted in the dissolution of the Melaka government.
Speaking to reporters, Ahmad echoed Rauf’s remark on any seat allocation and strategy to be decided in another meeting.
When asked about the future of Muafakat Nasional, its alliance with Islamist party PAS, Ahmad said: “This will be announced later.”
Earlier today, Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the party would decide tonight whether it would contest the state election independently with Barisan Nasional or as part of a larger coalition
This is despite Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announcing yesterday that the party and BN will be standing alone in the Melaka polls, without PAS or Bersatu that were nominally allies.
Ahmad Zahid’s statement has brought into question the longevity of the party’s Muafakat Nasional charter with PAS, a hastily cobbled alliance that was formed between the parties after Barisan Nasional was defeated at the 2018 elections.
The need for a new state government, which would be the third in as many years in Melaka, was triggered by the withdrawal of support for Umno’s Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali by four assemblymen, causing him to lose the majority.
The four are Datuk Seri Idris Haron (Sungai Udang), Datuk Noor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundur), Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas), and Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu).
Idris, a former chief minister, and Noor Azman were later sacked by Umno for their betrayal of the BN-led government, while Noor Effandi was also dismissed by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. Norhizam, formerly from DAP, is an independent.
Following their withdrawal, Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam consented to the dissolution of the state assembly, which triggered the requirement for snap polls within 60 days.