Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir has suggested that it is better for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia to return to Pakatan Harapan (PH) for its survival in the next general election, instead of remaining with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
In a statement on his Facebook page yesterday, the Bersatu vice-president questioned party president and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s own political fate if the cooperation between the PN parties fizzles out once they begin contesting against each other.
“Let’s not talk about Cabinet ministers, what is the fate of Tan Sri Muhyiddin himself? Will he still be chosen as the prime minister after the 15th general election? There must be an agreement with the parties that have cooperated to form a government,” the Kedah mentri besar said.
“If not, what is the meaning of this political cooperation? Is it merely a temporary marriage of convenience for three years or earlier if the Lower House is dissolved? The PN administration was formed on March 2020.
“If Parliament is dissolved this year, does it mean Bersatu must face against its political ‘allies’ Umno and PAS at each seat, including Pagoh, Tambun, Alor Gajah and Titiwangsa? Is this uncertain situation good for the people and the country?” Muhkriz said, referring to Muhyiddin’s own constituency and those of his ministers.
The son of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad added that many grassroots members are concerned that the political alliance within PN will only last until the next general election and want to know the answer from Muhyiddin.
He then questioned the chances of Bersatu emerging victorious in any constituency in the next general election if it is beset on all sides by its current allies in PN and former allies in PH, especially in light of the fact that Umno, PAS and Bersatu generally contests for the rural Malay votes.
He also pointed out that there have been many instances where senior Umno leaders had taken pot-shots at his party as well as PN, going as far as saying that PN itself is a non-existent entity as there is no formal agreement between PAS, Umno, Bersatu and GPS to form an administration.
The Jerlun MP said the words uttered by Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin among others smacked of “arrogance and conceit”, while not reflecting any form of unity between the coalition parties.
Mukhriz said he believes that Bersatu’s only choice is to re-join its former coalition partners in PH, seeing that they had bonded during the 14th General Election in their effort to topple the kleptocratic Umno-led Barisan Nasional administration.
“I believe that Bersatu has only one choice, which is to return to PH. Not even two months under the PN administration has left a bitter experience for Bersatu down to its grassroots. Our local authority councillors were dropped in a few states except Kedah.
“We have had enough of winning the battle but losing the war. We don’t want Bersatu to be used and be put down by any parties.
“I am confident that whatever political crisis, health crisis and economic crisis facing the country right now can be managed better with a unity government that was proposed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“If any of Bersatu’s MPs and assemblymen agree with my state, lets chart the way to return home (to PH). That is the best that you can do to ensure Bersatu’s survival,” said Mukhriz.
“At least we can defend Bersatu’s interests with PH, compared to the uncertainties, risks and losses with Umno and PAS,”
“Isn’t Bersatu’s fate much better with PH? Several PH leaders have indicated their readiness to accept Bersatu back.
“Even though our relationship has been hurt by the Sheraton Move, it can still be healed in the interest of the country.
“We can negotiate seat distribution (for the general election) as before, so that we can share our strength to win over the people,” he said.
Mukhriz issued the statement after several Umno leaders – including deputy president Mohamad Hasan – said Umno and PAS had no formal agreement with Bersatu in Perikatan Nasional.
Mohamad said the party was determined to fight the next polls with PAS and Barisan Nasional and wanted to win the lion’s share of the seats in Parliament.
Mukhriz retained the make-up of the Kedah PH government even after Bersatu pulled out of the pact to form Perikatan Nasional with Umno, PAS and ally Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
He said, based on this, it was clear that PN did not exist despite forming the government.
Mukhriz alleged Muhyiddin had made several promises to Bersatu to convince its leadership to quit PH, in the run up to leaving the alliance, but had not come good with them.
However, Mukhriz did not say what these promises were.
“The promises were those he made to the Bersatu supreme council and MPs. It formed the basis for his argument that Bersatu must leave PH as soon as possible and form a new coalition with Umno and PAS.
“Those questions are in the minds of every Bersatu member. If they are not answered, it will cause confusion and suspicion,” he said.
Bersatu, which suspended its party election due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is now divided between two factions: one led by chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the other by Muhyiddin.
However, Dr Mahathir was returned unopposed to his post, while Mukhriz is challenging Muhyiddin for the party presidency.