Azmin and Co Reportedly Still Fighting for Parliamentary Seats in Bersatu

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Although officially accepted into Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia last Saturday, the former PKR MPs aligned with Datuk Seri Azmin Ali have yet to receive confirmation that they will be defending their seats in the next general election.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

In fact, after six meetings chaired by Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Azmin and co have yet to get the nod from the party’s supreme council on the matter as they reportedly want some of the seats occupied by PKR in the last general election.

A source who is privy to what went on during the meetings told Malay Mail today that in the latest meeting held on Tuesday at the Parliament administration building, Azmin’s faction, known as G-10, still could not find the middle ground over cooperation.

“Nothing is concluded yet. Azmin’s faction also wanted other leaders to be given parliamentary seats.

“So, it is still a source of contention between both,” said the source on condition of anonymity.

Apart from Azmin, who is the Gombak MP, the 10 others are Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, Indera Mahkota MP Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Bandar Tun Razak MP Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar, Nibong Tebal MP Datuk Mansor Othman, Batu Pahat MP Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Saratok MP Ali Biju, Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin, Segamat MP Datuk Seri Edmund R Santhara and Ranau MP Jonathan Yasin.

Last Saturday, Azmin’s faction, which also includes a number of state assemblymen who currently lead massive nationwide NGOs — Penggerak Komuniti Negara, Pemuda Negara, Nation of Women (NOW) and Wanita Muda Negara — swore loyalty to Muhyiddin in a lavish ceremony attended by thousands at the Malaysia International Trade Exhibition Centre (Mitec).

Currently, Bersatu has 31 MPs, including Azmin’s faction.

Bersatu also has to negotiate seats with their allies in Muafakat Nasional, Umno and PAS as well as potential allies in Perikatan Nasional, such as MCA and MIC.

There is also the question of negotiations with the Sarawak Political Parties Coalition (GPS) as several of Azmin’s faction are MPs in the state.

A number of Cabinet ministers from Bersatu, however, are Senators, including Senior Minister and Vice President Mohd Radzi Jidin.

Earlier today, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said Umno will only be discussing seat allocations among component parties and not through individuals, including those who recently joined Bersatu, such as Azmin.

Utusan Malaysia today reported the Umno vice-president as saying this when asked to comment on Azmin’s formal entry to Bersatu last week, raising questions over whether the Gombak MP would be defending his seat that was contested by Umno in GE14. – MMO