Pejuang’s application to join Perikatan Nasional coalition rejected as it is a 'small party': Report
KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional (PN) rejected Parti Pejuang Tanah Air’s (Pejuang) application to join the coalition as the “small party” would not help PN in its ambition to “unite the ummah (Muslim community)”, said Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
“They are not a major (Malay) party like UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) and Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia).
“Even though it contests in elections, it loses almost every contest, even losing their deposits,” he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today (FMT) on Friday (Mar 24).
During the 15th General Election in November last year, Pejuang lost all its deposits in the 115 parliamentary seats it contested. These include the Langkawi and Jerlun seats which were contested by former party chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad and party president Mukhriz Mahathir.
Tuan Ibrahim reportedly told FMT that the PN coalition also did not want to complicate seat allocations for the upcoming six state elections should it accept Pejuang’s application.
The six states set to hold elections later this year are Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Penang and Selangor.
“Elections are close. We discussed how accepting them (Pejuang) would complicate the ongoing negotiations for seats,” he told FMT. The remarks have since been carried by various Malaysian news outlets.
Tuan Ibrahim added that he did not rule out the possibility that Pejuang only sought to join PN to improve its chances of retaining the state seats it held in Kedah and Selangor.
“I believe they know they do not stand a chance if they go at it alone and this is why they are looking for partners,” he said, as quoted by FMT.
According to FMT, Pejuang holds two seats in Kedah - one in Jitra, held by Mr Mukhriz, and another in Anak Bukit - and two seats in Selangor, namely the Jeram and Kuang seats.
Tuan Ibrahim added that it would be better for Pejuang to be dissolved and for its members to join PAS or Bersatu in order to continue their struggle for the Malays and Islam.
“That’s better than having many small parties,” he said.
On Tuesday, PN secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin announced that the coalition would not be accepting Pejuang as a component party.
“The Supreme Council has made a decision to reject the application of Parti Pejuang Tanahair (to join) Perikatan Nasional,” he said in a statement.
In response, Pejuang secretary-general Amiruddin Hamzah expressed the party’s disappointment that PN did not share the party’s belief against splitting the Malay votes.
“It is very sad that the commitment and goal of not breaking the Malay vote is not welcomed by the leadership of Perikatan Nasional,” he said.
He added that Pejuang will nonetheless continue to prepare for the upcoming state elections.
“Pejuang will always remain in the national political arena to defend the Rule of Law and carry the mandate of fighting for religion, nation, and homeland.
“With that, Pejuang will continue to mobilise machinery in (several) areas to prepare for the upcoming state election,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Mukhriz explained that the Malay vote could be consolidated if Pejuang were to join PN.
“Pejuang's application to be a member of PN is to ensure that there is no split in the Malay vote in the upcoming election,” he said.