PN partners should talk behind closed doors, says Azmin after Umno ‘snub’

Azmin Ali says consensus-building among Perikatan Nasional partners is vital to ensure its long-term success.

GEORGE TOWN: Senior minister Mohamed Azmin Ali last night said partners in Perikatan Nasional should discuss their problems in private to ensure the coalition remains successful in the long run.

Azmin said PN has been successful so far, thanks to consensus-building among its partners – Umno, PAS and PPBM. However, to ensure its resilience, its partners should air their concerns internally and not through the media.

“I don’t think there is a need to discuss such matters in the press or on social media. We should talk behind closed doors,” Azmin said after officiating a Penggerak Komuniti Negara event at a hotel in Bayan Lepas last night.

He was asked to comment on Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s statement that PPBM would be joining Muafakat Nasional – the pact between Umno and PAS – and that Azmin and his fellow former PKR leaders would do the same.

Zahid also said Umno would not join PN but would be supportive of it.

Analysts saw Zahid’s announcement as a snub to PN.

Separately, Azmin said PN would discuss with its allies in Sabah the seats to contest in the upcoming state election.

He said the seats contested by those who had left PKR would likely be retained by the incumbents.

“During my time with PKR, we had contested and won several seats. I believe these seats would be retained (by their incumbents). We will discuss with the Sabah leadership and those in PN,” he said.

Azmin also did not discount the possibility that PN would make a strong bid for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat – a PKR bastion – in the next general election.

He said the people in the constituency had “given chance to a particular person for a very long time”, most likely referring to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

“Through feedback we have received, Permatang Pauh voters are ready for a change. We will work and go down to the ground to explain to them (the strengths of PN) but, ultimately, the voters will decide in the end.”

He was asked if Penggerak Komuniti Negara (PKN), an NGO linked to former PKR members who quit due to their dissatisfaction with Anwar, were preparing Permatang Pauh for the next general election.