Malaysia's Islamist party PAS officially joins ruling coalition Perikatan Nasional: Source
PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia’s Islamist party PAS has formally joined Perikatan Nasional, making it the ruling coalition’s second component party after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, according to a source.
A source confirmed that the coalition was registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) under the name Parti Perikatan Nasional two weeks ago and has a logo which will be used by the component parties and Perikatan-friendly parties during the next general election.
ROS director-general Masyati Abang Ibrahim, when contacted, said she would “not be commenting on the matter” for now.
Masyati, however, did not issue a denial.
“There is an agreed pro-tem committee which will make the decisions for Perikatan on behalf of Bersatu and PAS, ” said the source.
The pro-tem committee of Perikatan for now comprises PAS’ Deputy President Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar and Secretary-General Takiyuddin Hassan.
Bersatu is represented by its Secretary-General Hamzah Zainuddin and Perikatan government whip Azmin Ali, also the information chief of Parti Perikatan Nasional.
PAS Deputy President Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the formal formation of Perikatan was akin to “an umbrella” to the ruling government.
“All parties supporting the Perikatan government are welcome to join it. The existence of Perikatan is not a threat to Muafakat Nasional as it is part of a grand coalition of all parties supporting the Perikatan government, ” said Tuan Ibrahim.
He said a strong force of Umno, PAS and Bersatu would solve the problem of seat allocations, manifesto, campaigning and coordination in the next general election.
“This will avoid three-cornered fights which are a loss to all parties in the end, ” said Tuan Ibrahim.
Although Umno has declined to join Perikatan as a component party, it is understood that PAS’ Muafakat Nasional relationship with Umno has not been affected.
Checks with top Umno leaders show that they are not in the dark about PAS joining Perikatan.
Umno Deputy President Mohamad Hasan said the relationship between Umno and PAS remained strong despite PAS joining Perikatan.
“Our relationship is strong and solid. Muafakat Nasional does not have any conditions which forbid any party from joining any coalition as long as the coalition is not with the opposition. Umno still supports the Perikatan government, ” Mohamad said when contacted.
Umno Youth chief Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said Umno respected the decision of PAS to join Perikatan together with Bersatu.
However, Asyraf refused to say if Umno would do away with the Barisan Nasional logo in the next general election.
Another top Barisan leader, however, said the logo – which is a very simple one now – needed a bit of work if Barisan were to use it.
MCA Secretary-General Chong Sin Woon said his party would support all political decisions made by Barisan.
“We have decided all political decisions will be made by consensus. Our support for the Perikatan government is for the sake of the stability of the country, ” he said.
MIC President A Vigneswaran said his party was committed to supporting Perikatan as long as Barisan and Umno were supporting the ruling coalition.
“As long as Umno and Barisan support Perikatan, we will support the Perikatan government, ” he said.
Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Parliamentary chief whip Fadillah Yusof said GPS would continue to support the “Perikatan plus GPS” government.
“Our support to Perikatan government is on the basis of forming a stable government to solve the issues of the people, namely health and economy. We are committed to a government comprising of Perikatan plus GPS and reiterate our support for the Prime Minister, ” he said.
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