KUALA LUMPUR: The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has decided not to join Perikatan Nasional (PN), the unofficial political alliance led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Thursday (Jul 30).
Instead, it will focus on strengthening its Muafakat Nasional (MN) alliance with Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and other parties within the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
"Support for the PN government was only based on support from UMNO and BN Members of Parliament (MPs), and state assemblymen in forming the federal government and certain state governments," Ahmad Zahid said in a Facebook post.
Ahmad Zahid, who is former deputy prime minister, shared that Mr Muhyiddin had on Wednesday met with BN MPs and and expressed the wish of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) to join MN.
MN is a pact formalised by UMNO and PAS - former political rivals - in September last year, following the collapse of the UMNO-led BN government in the 2018 general election.
"Bersatu's wish will be discussed with PAS in detail," Ahmad Zahid said.
The MN main committee had earlier decided that both component parties should prioritise strengthening the alliance, he added.
“I will leave it to the main committee to consider Bersatu’s wish, if it is possible to further strengthen MN for the country’s and people’s interests” he said.
Mr Muhyiddin, a former UMNO member, is currently the president of Bersatu. He had pulled Bersatu out of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition earlier this year, triggering the collapse of the PH government.
Following that, he joined forces with UMNO, PAS and BN component parties to lead the PN government.
The political implications of Ahmad Zahid's Thursday announcement are not immediately clear.
When met by reporters at the Federal Court, Ahmad Zahid said his statement was not to announce UMNO's departure from PN.
“This is not an announcement that we are pulling out of Perikatan. Our decision is that we are not going to be a component member of Perikatan if it were to be registered,” he said, according to the Star.