Pakatan-PPBM unity: Last barrier removed?

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PETALING JAYA: The last barrier to cooperation between Pakatan Harapan and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has been removed with former DPM Muhyiddin Yassin’s pledge to work towards the release of Anwar Ibrahim from prison, according to two political analysts.

Mohamed Mustafa Ishak of the National Council of Professors said the issue of Anwar’s release was “the only thing separating PKR and PPBM” and Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya said Muhyiddin’s statement would result in PPBM being accepted by “many in Pakatan Harapan, especially those in PKR.”

Muhyiddin, who is the President of PPBM, was quoted by the New Straits Times on Wednesday as saying that his party would work with Pakatan to secure Anwar’s release should the opposition succeed in ousting Barisan Nasional from Putrajaya.

Speaking to FMT, Mustafa said the pledge was part of a manoeuvre to ensure PPBM’s acceptance by Pakatan Harapan parties and facilitate cooperation.

He said the same manoeuvre was apparent in former PM Mahathir Mohamad’s recent show of support for Anwar in the latter’s legal action against the enforcement of the National Security Council Act.

He also said Muhiyiddin’s followers were likely to support the move.

Awang Azman, noting that both PPBM and PKR are splinters from Umno, said Muhyiddin’s pledge was a strategic move to smoothen relations between the two parties.

He said political cooperation could not exist without common interests and securing Anwar’s release was a common interest of Pakatan Harapan parties. Muhyiddin’s statement, he added, was a signal that his party had the same interest.

Now that there’s little doubt that PPBM would work with Pakatan, he said, Umno had reason to be worried.