PETALING JAYA: Former deputy home minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed has urged Umno to be tough against PPBM in negotiations for parliament seats to contest for in the coming general election.
“Give it just 15 seats,” he said in a comment on reports that PPBM was eyeing 50 seats.
Speaking to FMT, he claimed that PPBM lacked the grassroots support to enable it to form a government unless it had Umno’s backing.
He noted that it was partly through Umno’s support that Muhyiddin Yassin’s faction of PPBM was able to oust the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in February.
“Muhyiddin is the prime minister because Umno supported him” and Umno should therefore “play hard” in the bargaining for seats, he said.
Nur Jazlan, who failed to retain the Pulai seat for Umno in the last general election, said it was conceivable that Muhyiddin and Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who leads a rival faction of PPBM, had struck a deal to benefit their party no matter which coalition wins in the next election.
“If PN (Perikatan Nasional) wins, Muhyiddin becomes the prime minister and if PH wins, Mahathir wins,” he said.
“We should not fall into this trap by giving PPBM 50 seats.”
Noting the friction in PH arising from its choice of Warisan chief Shafie Apdal as candidate for prime minister, he said it was also conceivable that Mahathir was deliberately weakening the opposition coalition that his PPBM faction is a part of.
“This may force PKR to leave PH, causing DAP to realise that it is also getting weak since the Chinese community may reject it for standing by Mahathir as PH leader, who is seen as a party-less man,” he added.
He also voiced suspicion that Muhyiddin may be in secret negotiations with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim to convince him to leave PH after failing to be its prime minister candidate.
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