THE UNDERCURRENTS are growing in strength as signs are Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) is being steered back to Pakatan Harapan as the consequence of an uncertain future and unclear resolve of the loose coup coalition that formed the current Perikatan Nasional government.
Just two months after the controversial political coup that saw rogue MPs from Bersatu and KEADILAN stage a crossover to form an alliance with Barisan Nasional, PAS and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), the cracks are already evident in the vocal and direct airing of discontentment from within the ruling coalition.
Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir today sounded what was thus far the most stinging statement aimed at Prime Minister and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, which also outlined their party’s predicament with much clarity.
“All Bersatu members are awaiting Muhyiddin’s answers on the promises he made before the supreme council and Bersatu MPs which formed the basis of his justification of the pressing need for Bersatu to urgently leave PH and allign with UMNO and PAS, who were united under the Muafakat Nasional banner,” said Mukhriz.
“These questions continue to linger in the minds of each Bersatu member and if left unanswered, will cause confusion and distrust. Bersatu members want to know if it is true that the political collaboration between MN and Bersatu will only last until the Dewan Rakyat is dissolved.”
Mukhriz echoed the sentiments of UMNO deputy president Mohamad Hasan, who in his statement last week clarified that his party’s involvement with Bersatu was not official, as was Perikatan Nasional, which was not even a legally registered political entity.
Mohamad had stated MN’s involvement in the government was merely as consociates in support of Muhyiddin as Prime Minister to form a government in the absence of one.
Voices from within UMNO have in the past month have been consistent with Mohamad’s stand and it looks unlikely UMNO will give in to Bersatu in the allocation of candidacies come the 15th general elections.
Mukhriz also raised this fact, stressing that Muhyiddin should look beyond his ascension to the post of Prime Minister and the ministerial posts granted to Bersatu MP’s who crossed over.
He questioned whether Bersatu even had the right to negotiate the distribution of seats with UMNO and PAS in the 15th general elections.
“Seeing that the current government consists of all three of these political parties, does it not seem odd that MN will contest against Bersatu in its seats in the 15th general elections” asked Mukhriz.
All 13 of Bersatu’s seats won under the Pakatan Harapan banner in the 14th general elections were in Malay majority constituencies against UMNO and PAS, including Muhyiddin’s own seat in Pagoh.
“All three of these political parties represent the Malay Muslim community, thus their political base in the same, which is the rural Malay heartland. For sure Bersatu, UMNO and PAS would want to contest in seats with the same demography and all three did in fact contest against each other in GE14,” said Mukhriz, who is also Bersatu deputy president.
“What are Bersatu’s chances of winning in those seats against UMNO and PAS as there is no consensus between them?
“If Bersatu is not with MN and also not with PH, is it logical for Bersatu to win anywhere at all? Is Bersatu capable of retaining its parliamentary and state seats which are in its hands currently?
“In the Cabinet appointed by the Prime Minister currently, there are Bersatu representatives. There are those appointed as senior ministers and deputy ministers. What will become of them once the Dewan Rakyat is dissolved? Will they contest their current seats against MN?”
Mukhriz gave an example of the Ketereh parliament seat which is represented by UMNO’s Annuar Musa, who was appointed Federal Territories Minister, while the Bersatu division chief Radzi Jidin, who lost to Annuar, was appointed senator and now senior minister (education).
“Who would be the candidate for that seat? Or will they stand against each other, despite currently both being part of the PN government?” Mukhriz asked.
“What about Muhyiddin himself? Will he still be appointed as Prime Minister after GE15? The should be an agreement between the parties currently tied in this political collaboration. What is the meaning of this collaboration if it is just a marriage of convenience and a temporary one at that?
“The PN government was formed on March 20. If the Dewan Rakyat is dissolved this year itself, will Bersatu be facing its political “allies” UMNO and PAS in all its seats including Pagoh (Muhyiddin), Tambun (Faizal Azumu), Alor Gajah (Redzuan Yusof) and Titiwangsa (Rina Harun)? Is this a situation that is favourable to the rakyat?”
Mukhriz went on to ask Muhyiddin the reasons behind Bersatu’s decision to be with MN, with such a pretentious existence.
“Yes, it is true that the Bersatu president is Prime Minister. The previous Prime Minister was also from Bersatu. Remember that the UMNO deputy president had clearly stated, that in order to install Muhyiddin and the 8th Prime Minister, an internal crisis was instigated within PH by certain quarters. Which quarters does he mean?” said Mukhriz.
The political coup that resulted in Pakatan Harapan’s downfall was plotted by a group of rogue KEADILAN MPs led by current senior minister Azmin Ali and a Bersatu MPs who backed Muhyiddin, which was agreed upon through a collection of statutory declarations formalised during the infamous “Sheraton Move”, although till today whether the exact numbers had indicated a majority is still questionable.
At least six Bersatu MPs, including former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Mukhriz, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik are not part of the PN coalition and are in the opposition bloc, although Mukhriz now points that they seem to be with PH.
Laying down his points, Mukhriz then called for Muhyiddin to assess Bersatu’s position, making what was thus far the clearest call for the party to be reinstated into the PH coalition.
“Is Bersatu not better off being with PH? Some statements made by PH leaders indicate they are prepared to accept Bersatu back into the coalition,” said Mukhriz, in reference to the most recent statements made by AMANAH deputy president Salahuddin Ayub, the joint statement by AMANAH and DAP Johor, Bersatu Johor rep Solihan Badri and several others.
“The ties between us, although somewhat scarred by the Sheraton Move, can still be restored for the good of the country. Distribution of seats are very much negotiable as we did before in sharing our strengths to win over the rakyat. At least we are able to safeguard Bersatu’s interests within PH, compared to the uncertainty, high risks and losses if we are with UMNO and PAS,” said Mukhriz.
“As far as I am concerned, Bersatu only has one choice, which is to return to PH. The experience of not even two months under the non-existent Perikatan Nasional government is a bitter pill for Bersatu to swallow right down to the grassroots.
“State councilors and Village Community Management Council (MPKK) members have lost their positions in all states except Kedah. Enough of this. We do not want Bersatu to be used and degraded by any party,” said Mukhriz.
Cracks within the loosely stitched Perikatan Nasional government are becoming more evident, particularly with UMNO reps opening fire at Muhyiddin and Azmin over discontentment in the Cabinet appointments and political appointments to chairmanships of GLCs.
Mohamad had yesterday rejected his appointment as chair of Tenaga Nasional.