BN and allies call for fresh polls, say support for Dr M conditional

Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa (3rd from left) with other political allies at the party’s headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre following their audience with the Agong today.

KUALA LUMPUR: MPs from Barisan Nasional and its ally PAS today called for fresh elections to elect a new government, Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa said following their audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong today.

“We take the view that in this situation, the mandate must be returned to the people. We ask for the dissolution of the Parliament to let the people decide,” he told reporters at the Umno headquarters here.

Annuar also confirmed that the bloc had on Sunday informed the Agong of their support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad to lead a new government.

But he said the support was on condition that DAP would not be part of any new federal coalition.

He said BN, represented by Umno, MCA and MIC, as well as PAS and Sabah’s PBRS would also not agree to Mahathir picking MPs individually to form a “unity government”, saying all MPs should be accepted en bloc.

“This goes against our parties’ stand. Let the rakyat decide,” he said.

Meanwhile, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said it was the first time a government had collapsed “to the point that they had agreed to join forces with the opposition”.

“We had already acquired more than 130 seats to form a new coalition – not Pakatan Nasional but Perikatan Nasional,” he said.

However, he said the attempt failed when Mahathir resigned, which led to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appointing him as the interim prime minister.

Takiyuddin said the recent political developments had caused anxiety to the public and “therefore, we feel it is best to let them decide”.

He said dissolving the Parliament would ensure that all parties had a level playing field.

MCA president Wee Ka Siong said the party’s presidential council had passed a resolution to “return the power to the public” to resolve the political crisis.

He said it was PH themselves who had caused their own collapse.

”Let the rakyat pick and assess PH’s performance in the last 22 months,” he said.

PBRS’s Joseph Kurup, who was also present, said the people felt disappointed that PH had failed to govern the country effectively.

Describing Mahathir’s resignation as prime minister as magnanimous, he said: “Being a country that practises democracy, it’s best to hand over the power back to the rakyat.”