JOHOR BARU, Feb 28 — A senior Johor Pakatan Harapan (PH) leader tonight described its former ally, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), as lacking integrity after betraying the former ruling coalition.
Johor PKR deputy chief Jimmy Puah Wee Tse claimed that the state’s former mentri besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal had tried to get him to jump over to support the new state coalition consisting of Umno, Bersatu, MIC and PAS.
He said he was summoned to Dr Sahruddin‘s residence at 10.30am on Tuesday where an offer was made to get him to abandon PH and join the new coalition.
“I was upset when he (Dr Sahruddin) told me this and I left his residence after that,” said Puah during a Chinese New Year dinner held at Restoran Maedo in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah in Skudai here tonight, adding he had not seen Sahruddin since then.
Also present was DAP’s assemblymen Tan Chen Choon and Tan Hong Pin.
Puah, who is the Bukit Batu assemblyman, was also the former Johor International Trade, Investment and Utility Committee chairman prior to the political impasse that hit the Johor PH government.
He said it was Bersatu that triggered the current political situation that also saw the Johor PH government collapse.
“Some of Bersatu leaders also tried to entice PH assemblymen with cash for them to jump over to the new coalition.
“However, we managed to reject their offers,” said Puah, adding that PH is considering to lodging a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
On the swearing-in of Umno’s Datuk Hasni Mohammad as the new Johor Mentri Besar, Puah said the state PH will be having a meeting on the matter.
“The state PH leadership will be issuing a statement on the appointment of the new mentri besar,” he said.
Earlier, the Johor Palace had issued a statement in which Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar said he hoped the new coalition government could be formed immediately, following a deadlock in the state.
Bersatu, BN and PAS had at that time claimed to have secured a simple majority in Johor with an unidentified PH assemblyman’s pledge of support tipping the scales in their favour.
Previously PH had 39 seats in the 56-member Johor state assembly comprising 14 from DAP, 11 from Bersatu, nine from Parti Amanah Negara and five from PKR.
Bersatu withdrew from PH on Monday, following the resignation of its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.
The 94-year-old has since been appointed interim prime minister and is reinstated as Bersatu chair.