Power now back with BN, Umno men claim

PETALING JAYA: Two Umno leaders claim that political power has shifted to Barisan Nasional (BN), now that party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has announced an Umno decision against formally joining Perikatan Nasional (PN).

The two, who asked to be anonymous, said the handful of PPBM members in the Dewan Rakyat would now have to depend on BN to survive.

PN, a loose union of mainly PPBM, Umno and PAS, was set up in February to form a new government after the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.

One of the sources said it was clear from Zahid’s announcement that Muafakat Nasional, a collaboration of PAS and Umno, had joined forces with PPBM only to govern the country.

“Muafakat Nasional is not with PPBM politically, but only to govern the country,” he said.

In the Dewan Rakyat, Barisan Nasional has 43 seats, PPBM 31, PH 91, PAS 18, GPS 18, PBS 1, Warisan 9, Upko 1 and PSB 2. There are seven independent MPs.

Yesterday, Zahid confirmed that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his party, PPBM, was interested in joining Muafakat Nasional.

“It shows BN is giving time to PPBM to decide on its next course of action. It also shows PPBM will have to listen to us if it wants to be part of us,” the source added.

The other source said PN would collapse if PPBM refused to join Muafakat Nasional. This would force a snap election, he added.

A Pakatan Harapan insider told FMT that Amanah and DAP were ready to back Muhyiddin if Muafakat Nasional pulled out of PN.

“These two parties are ready to work with Muhyiddin to take back the rakyat’s mandate given to them in GE14,” he said.

He said PKR with its 36 MPs would agree to work with Muhyiddin on the condition that Mohamed Azmin Ali and his followers from PKR were not involved.

He also said eyes were on former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and six other MPs to see whether they would join forces with the opposition.

“It will all depend on PPBM’s public announcement on whether it will join Muafakat Nasional,” he said.