KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) have pledged to strengthen cooperation in facing the next general election.
In a joint statement on Mar 31 (Wednesday), both parties also stressed that they will not accept any new political pacts in the formation of a government.
"Bersatu and PAS firmly reject any new alignment to form the government post-GE15, especially if it involves Pakatan Harapan and its allies," the statement said.
The statement, issued by the secretaries-general of the two parties, came on the heels of the general assembly of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), where an ultimatum was issued to PAS to choose sides.
PAS is currently in the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government with Bersatu, as well as the Muafakat Nasional pact with UMNO. The latter focuses on the unity of Malay-Muslim political power.
In the Monday joint statement, the two parties' leadership agreed to strengthen cooperation within PN for the next general election. Both parties would form a central committee to frame its election strategy and direction, including seat negotiations.
Both parties also called on Malay, Islamic and Bumiputera societies and organisations, as well patriotic Malaysians to unite for the country's future.
With 38 MPs and the second largest party in the parliament, UMNO is currently part of the PN government but has said it would only work with Bersatu and PN until the next general election is called.
In its general assembly on Sunday, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party can leave PN any time if there are no indications of a general election in the near future.
However, the timeline to quit the coalition was up to the party's supreme council.
Ahmad Zahid also said that UMNO is open to forming a unity government after the election.
On Monday morning, Bersatu president and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he has convinced UMNO ministers to remain in the Cabinet as the government focuses on handling the COVID-19 pandemic.