Govt positions not meant for bargaining but intended to care for people’s welfare, says both parties’ S’gor chapters.
The Selangor chapter of Umno and PAS have snubbed the Housing and Local Government’s offer of positions known as Penggerak Komuniti Tempatan (PeKT).
The federal-appointed positions are meant to run parallel to state-appointed local councillors in Selangor, where the federal opposition is in power.
The two parties hinted that they were unhappy that the positions were being used as a bargaining chip.
“Selangor Umno and PAS are of the opinion that government positions are not meant for bargaining but are intended to care for the people’s welfare.
“It is not meant to be used for the political interest of certain quarters,” they said in a joint statement last night.
The Housing and Local Government Ministry is led by Bersatu’s Ampang MP, Zuraida Kamaruddin.
Umno had initially nominated its candidates to take up the PeKT positions in Selangor but later backtracked in support of PAS.
“Selangor PAS had rejected the PeKT position by not nominating any names.
“As a sign of solidarity and support, Umno too decided to reject the positions offered even though it had already submitted names before this,” they said.
The joint statement was signed by Selangor Umno chief Noh Omar and Selangor PAS chief Ahmad Yunus Hairi.
In the past, the federal government would appoint a parliamentary coordinator in opposition-held constituencies.
This is to allow the party in power at the federal level to take credit for development projects while starving opposition MPs of allocations.
The Housing and Local Government Ministry has taken this a step further by employing the same system at the local council level.
Selangor Bersatu chief Abdul Rashid Asari previously said there would be a total of 288 PeKT positions in Selangor, and each will get an allowance of RM2,000 a month.
The Selangor government said it would not recognise the PeKT officers, but Zuraida said the state government has no say in the matter.
Zuraida, responding to the snub today, said she would seek clarification.
“We need to get clarification on whether the situation is genuine or not.
“I read the statement they made at the meeting where the decision was made. It’s okay, we will meet with them and decide on the matter,” she told journalists in Shah Alam this morning.
Umno and PAS taking a joint stance against Bersatu add to the already complicated relationships in the political scene.
At the federal level, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang is adamant that it will remain part of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition led by Bersatu. PAS also wants Umno to cooperate under the same PN banner.
Aversed to Bersatu, Umno prefers to work with PAS under the Muafakat Nasional banner but has conceded that they may have to part ways if PAS sticks with PN.
This is as Umno and its BN partners prepare to take on PN in the 15th general election.
The imminent clash prompted revolts in the Perlis and Sabah chapters of Umno, which insisted they will continue to work with Bersatu in the next general election.
However, in Selangor, a different scenario manifested with PAS siding with Umno.
PAS and Umno in Selangor have long shown their dislike for Bersatu.