Muafakat panel to decide on PPBM’s entry, says Zahid

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, BN chairman and Umno president, will leave it to the Muafakat Nasional committee to decide on PPBM’s wish to join the alliance.

TANJUNG MALIM: The Muafakat Nasional (MN) committee, chaired by the deputy presidents of Umno and PAS, will decide on PPBM’s announced wish to enter the alliance, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said here today.

Zahid Hamidi said he would leave it to the MN committee to decide on PPBM’s participation in the alliance.

“This committee has taken the best approach in addressing the situation on the basis of political cooperation. Hopefully, this will give optimum results when the general election is held,” he said here on a visit to launch the Barisan Nasional election machinery for the Slim by-election to be held on Aug 29.

The MN committee is jointly chaired by Mohamad Hasan of Umno and Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PAS).

Muafakat Nasional is an alliance between Umno and PAS, the two largest Malay-Muslim parties, which was formally set up in September last year. Together with PPBM, they form the loose coalition of Perikatan Nasional (PN), which now runs the federal government.

Zahid had recently said Umno would not become a formal member of PN. Earlier today, PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin said that the party leadership had agreed to join MN. He said its participation in the alliance would be finalised soon

Zahid, who is also chairman of the Barisan Nasional coalition, said political parties wishing to work with BN should be sincere and be prepared to translate its intention into all forms of political cooperation, including at the Slim by-election, Bernama reported.

He said any differences should be set aside because honesty and sincerity were important in any political partnership.

He urged the BN Youth machinery to work hard to ensure that BN candidate Mohd Zaidi Aziz wins all the 13 polling districts in the by-election.

“We want the 8,000 votes won by BN in 2018 to be maintained as a base. The 4,000 votes obtained by PAS and the 6,000 votes garnered by Bersatu then should also come to us,” he said.

In 2018, BN candidate Mohd Khusairi polled 8,327 votes to be re-elected for a sixth term. He beat Mohd Amran Ibrahim (PPBM) who received 6,144 votes, and Muhammad Zulfadli Zainal (PAS) who obtained 4,103 votes.

Khusairi died of a heart attack recently, triggering the by-election.

Umno’s Mohd Zaidi faces two independent candidates: a former teacher, S. Santharasekaran, 44, and lawyer Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi, 38, representing the yet-to-be-registered Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, comprising supporters of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.