KUALA LUMPUR: The top leaders of both Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) have indicated that they welcome Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, to join their Muafakat Nasional (MN) coalition.
This came after Mr Muhyiddin said in a video message on Saturday (Aug 15) that his party’s participation in MN would be finalised soon.
In a statement on Sunday, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said the party fully supported Bersatu’s decision to enter the MN pact, which will be one year old come Sep 14 this year.
“PAS is also confident that the combination of UMNO, PAS and Bersatu will not only create a Melayu Raya (Greater Malay) coalition, but also strengthen the structure of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic, multireligious and multicultural society, as contained in the basic laws of Malaysia and our shared history and experiences,” he said.
Speaking to the press on Sunday, UMNO supreme council member Annuar Musa said both UMNO and PAS would look into whether the charter signed between them has to be altered, now that Bersatu looked set to join their fold.
“There is also a written Memorandum of Understanding between UMNO and PAS, not with Bersatu, so we also have to look into that,” he said.
Mr Annuar said the invitation for Bersatu to join MN came after UMNO rejected to be a component of Mr Muhyiddin's Perikatan Nasional, an informal coalition formed when they took over the federal administration in March.
“And we were told by the prime minister and Members of Parliaments that the Bersatu Supreme Council had met and agreed to accept our invitation, which was conveyed orally, and we have also informed the MN Steering Committee,” he said.
He added that most importantly, the process of forming the coalition was taking place organically.
“Even for UMNO and PAS, after one year of working together, there are some areas where both parties are happy, other areas, there is a love-hate relationship. That is normal,” he said.
Later in the day, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called on Bersatu to prove its commitment and earnestness in MN by canvassing votes for the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in the Slim state seat by-election.
“The 8,000 votes that the late assemblyman won, that should stay with us, the 4,000 votes that the PAS candidate won previously, will also come to us.
“I want to see that the 6,000 votes that Bersatu won under the PKR logo also come to us,” the former deputy prime minister said when launching BN campaign in Slim.
The Slim seat fell vacant after its UMNO assemblyman Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib, 59, died of a heart attack on Jul 15.
The by-election is a three-cornered fight between BN and two independent candidates, one of whom was fielded by former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad.
Dr Mahathir had announced that he would form a new party called Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, after the High Court dismissed a lawsuit he brought against Bersatu - which he had founded in 2016, for revoking his membership.
Mr Muhyiddin, in his Saturday video message, said Dr Mahathir had chosen his path and he wished him well, but Bersatu has to move on.