Perikatan Nasional wants to ensure Malaysia doesn't fall to kleptocrats: Muhyiddin during candidate unveiling
The Perikatan Nasional coalition will contest 169 out of 222 seats in the Lower House during GE15.
KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional must ensure that Malaysia will not be governed by kleptocrats following the upcoming 15th General Election (GE15), said the coalition’s chairman Muhyiddin Yassin during a candidate unveiling event on Tuesday (Nov 1).
“Our determination must be high, not for ourselves but for our country. It’s our responsibility to ensure the country does not fall into the hands of kleptocrats, the corrupt, the court cluster, don’t pick those who are against the spirit of the Malays and Malaysians,” said the former prime minister.
“We should not allow any of these groups to take over the country’s leadership and continue to cause damage to the country. (This) is a very big responsibility - not a small thing,” he added.
Kleptocrats is a reference to politicians mainly from the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition who are facing trial for graft charges, termed by local media as the “court cluster”.
Mr Muhyiddin said that while PN’s candidate selection process was tough with “the limited number of seats”, negotiations between the component parties went smoothly.
“There was no fighting or slamming of tables. It went very smoothly and respectfully at the negotiation table,” he said.
PN comprises Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan) as well as Sabah based parties Parti Progresif Sabah and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku.
During the Tuesday event, Mr Muhyiddin also confirmed that PN candidates will be fielded in 169 out of a total 222 federal seats available. He added that the coalition will also contest 116 state seats.
Mr Muhyiddin outlined that for federal constituencies, Bersatu will contest 74 seats, PAS will contest 64 seats, Gerakan will contest 20 seats while the other affiliated parties will stand in 11 seats.
Meanwhile for the Pahang, Perlis and Perak state assemblies, 57 seats will be contested by PAS, 41 by Bersatu,14 by Gerakan while the other affiliated parties will contest four seats.
Mr Muhyiddin also named the list of candidates, except for those contesting in Kelantan and Terengganu. He said that the candidates for federal seats in these two states will be announced over the next couple of days.
There were few surprises as many of the coalition’s key leaders were defending their seats won in the 2018 General Election.
Mr Muhyiddin confirmed that he will be defending the federal seat of Pagoh in northern Johor while the coalition’s secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin will be defending the Larut federal seat in Perak.
PN’s information chief Azmin Ali will be defending the Gombak federal seat in Selangor. The caretaker senior minister will likely be involved in a keenly watched contest against Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate for the seat, Mr Amirudin Shari, who is also the Selangor chief minister.
The incumbent Member of Parliament for Tambun Ahmad Faizal Azumu, who is also Bersatu deputy president and caretaker youth and sports minister, was confirmed as PN’s candidate for the federal seat of Tambun.
He will be challenged by PH’s prime minister candidate Anwar Ibrahim.
Before the Tuesday event, PN had announced that caretaker senior minister Radzi Jidin will contest in the federal seat of Putrajaya while caretaker minister of women, family and community development Rina Harun will run for the Sepang federal seat in Selangor.
FIERCE CONTEST EXPECTED
PN is expected to be involved in fierce contest against BN and PH in many of the seats they will be vying for in the peninsula.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), a component party of PH, has launched an aggressive strategy to field high profile candidates in seats held by its defectors who are now with Bersatu.
Mr Anwar, who is also PKR president, said that the party’s election strategy was to focus on constituencies held by former PH politicians who defected following the Sheraton Move.
In the so-called Sheraton Move, Bersatu withdrew from PH while several PKR lawmakers led by Mr Azmin also quit the party in 2020. Dr Mahathir Mohamad then resigned as prime minister, creating a power vacuum.
Mr Muhyiddin then joined hands with BN and PAS to form a new government coalition and was appointed prime minister.
However, his tenure only lasted until August 2021 when some MPs from BN’s main component party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) pulled their support for him and put forth party vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob to replace Mr Muhyiddin as prime minister.
In October, local media quoted Mr Muhyiddin as saying that the upcoming election will be his last time contesting.
“Time is up. This is my last term to serve. I leave it up to the voters whether they want me or not,” the Bersatu president reportedly said.
“If they do, I will continue serving, but if not, I will go back to my kampung,” he added.