Umno rejects Perikatan offer, supports Agong unity govt plan

Ravin Palanisamy

The Umno Supreme Council has decided to reject Perikatan Nasional's offer to set up a coalition government. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, November 24, 2022.

UMNO has rejected joining Perikatan Nasional to set up a coalition government, saying it will instead support the king’s proposal for a unity government.

Party secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said the Supreme Council met last night to consider the proposals of PN and also Pakatan Harapan for partnership after the general election failed to yield a clear winner. Umno won only 26 seats while its allies won four more to make up a paltry total of 30 for BN.

“The Supreme Council unanimously decided to support and uphold the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s edict for Barisan Nasional to take part in an unity government that isn’t led by Perikatan Nasional to ensure a stable and harmonious government can be formed,” he said in a statement. 

He said the council chaired by party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the BN chairman, also agreed that its MPs will join any unity government announced by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

Ahmad said the council also renewed its support for Zahid as the leader of BN and Umno. Zahid has been under pressure to step down after the coalition’s worst electoral performance since it was formed in 1974.

In the five-paragraph statement, Ahmad also announced the party will hold its annual meeting on December 21-24.

The king and other Malay rulers will meet this morning to discuss how to form the next government in the face of a hung parliament.

PH won 82 of the 221 seats up for grabs in the snap polls. PN collected 73. 

The election for one more seat – Padang Serai – was postponed to December 7 after the incumbent died during the campaign period. – November 24, 2022.

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