JOHOR BARU, June 13 — The decision by Sarawak component parties to leave Barisan Nasional (BN) means that they have betrayed the mandate and trust given by the public to the coalition, said Johor Umno chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
Mohamed Khaled, who is also the Johor BN chief, said the decision runs contrary to the wishes of the public who had wanted them to serve under the BN banner.
“The representatives of the component parties were voted in earlier because they represent BN. They are selected for their capacity as BN's representatives,” he said in a 13-point statement that represented the views of Johor Umno on the issue today.
“While Johor Umno believes that the decision was made with sound reason and judgment, it also indirectly frustrates efforts to streamline democracy and establish a two-party system.
“In fact, the actions of the former Sarawak BN component parties to form a coalition only from among themselves is a step back and do not support our aspirations and efforts to strengthen national integration,” claimed Mohamed Khaled, whose own BN-led government was decimated by Pakatan Harapan (PH) on the recent May 9 polls.
The 59-year-old former Johor menteri besar said it was also expected that the Sarawak component parties such as Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and others to leave BN.
“Sadly, the decision to abandon BN is setting aside all cooperation, friendship and fraternity among component parties in the coalition for more than 60 years.
“The defeat in the general election should not be an excuse to continue to change their position and forget about the friendship and cooperation that has been built so far,” said Mohamed Khaled, adding that the challenges faced should be a motivation for the party to improve itself.
Mohamed Khaled said Johor Umno sees BN facing a huge challenge in uniting and strengthening its component parties so that the coalition remains relevant and functioning.
At the same time, he said Johor Umno believes that BN leaders, members and supporters must be aware and accept the fact that no partnership and coalition like BN will remain forever.
“Each power-sharing formula that brings together various races as practiced by BN over the years will surely be tested with a variety of challenges.
“So, it is critical for BN to continue to find a way forward that seeks to meet all criteria. In fact, Johor Umno itself will look into this issue in depth,” said Mohamed Khaled.