Azmin Refutes Critics That His Team Would Weaken Instead of Strengthen Muafakat Nasional

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Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali has brushed off criticism that his participation in Muafakat Nasional (MN) would weaken the pact instead of strengthening it in the next general election.

Azmin, however, said this was only his personal opinion and he remains optimistic that with good intentions, their efforts to join MN will be fruitful.

“We have to find the meeting point because we are now facing a bitter challenge. For me, the priority is to come to a consensus and find a meeting point.

“This is because the challenges we are facing can all be solved if we practise openness to find reconciliation,” Azmin said today.

Seth Akmal/TMI

“I am an optimist, if we have good intention, God will ease our efforts,” he added.

Azmin did not elaborate on how his group of 10 MPs, known as G10, could contribute to the strengthening of Muafakat Nasional.

He was commenting on an earlier statement by Johor Umno deputy chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed that Mohamed Azmin’s group of elected representatives and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) will not strengthen MN in the 15th General Election.

Yesterday, Azmin said the matter of joining the Umno-PAS alliance is under consideration.

“There will be continued discussion. It’s because Muafakat Nasional was formed before Perikatan Nasional.

“The situation before is different from today’s, so there are matters to be discussed,” he said last night.

Nur Jazlan told The Malaysian Insight that Azmin’s group lacks strength because it moves without a party.

“In the face of the general election, the ones that is strong is MN and Bersatu. Azmin’s group looks strong now, but it has not been tested in an election.

Nazir Sufari/TMI

“They don’t have a party and cannot strengthen MN. They are looking for a place in the parties.”

Nur Jazlan said negotiations for the distribution of seats would also be difficult for the group as other parties would find it difficult to give in.

“It’s hard for PAS and Umno, as the parties are more influential because they have existed far longer and expect to get the support of voters.

“Who should give in? MN or Bersatu, or Azmin’s group? I hope the discussion on the distribution of seats at the central level takes into account that factor.”

The former Pulai MP said he is also worried that the Johor Umno grassroots would reject it if the distribution of seats is done badly.

He warns the situation will give an advantage to the opponent.

“I hope it will not cause a situation whereby PAS or Umno members will go and create three-cornered fights.”

“We do not want the MN understanding to be wasted by Bersatu and its candidates, that is why the distribution of seats must be done carefully, in every parliamentary and state constituency.”

Nur Jazlan also said Bersatu needs to resolve its internal crisis before MN will accept it.

“Bersatu, the newly formed party in 2017, has no track record and is too dependent on PKR and DAP under PH.

“Even their leadership is still not finalised as they have not held their party elections. At the lower level, the scramble for positions at the grassroots level took place, there were many clashes.”

Nur Jazlan added that the problem will cause its candidates to lose in elections.

“A few members, a few supporters, grabbed the post of division head. Wanting to enter the general election, they also have problems wanting to be candidates.

“The wounds of this election will be brought to the general election.”

Therefore, Bersatu must first solve its internal problems before soliciting MN support.

“If Bersatu itself cannot strengthen the party after three years and they’re now in government, it is not logical for PN to be formally formed.

“We want to make sure we get a political solution so that we can win maximum seats.”