KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 ― Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin issued a stern reminder to his Perikatan Nasional (PN) colleagues today that it is not a government mandated by the people, as he criticised the use of “political rewards” to keep the frail coalition intact.
In a sharply worded statement levelled against allies Bersatu, Khaled said PN remains devoid of legitimacy, and that it could only garner public support through good governance and accountability.
The Umno vice-president’s criticism came amid rumours of a revolt brewing within Johor PN. Last weekend, a Bersatu leader had publicly suggested that the party is being sidelined, and hinted that it would pull out if it is not accorded more say in state matters.
“It is true that the alliance is fragile... but PN in Johor will remain as such if both parties want to,” Khaled said.
“But in politics anything can happen. Still, consolidating PN through political rewards via GLC appointments or other methods should not be the way,” he added.
“PN was not formed with the people’s mandate. It therefore must push aside all interests bar that of the people.”
PN, a loose alliance between Umno, Bersatu, and PAS, was borne out of a power struggle in then ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan, which lost Johor following Bersatu’s defection.
The bloc now has a mere two-seat majority in the Johor state legislative assembly, controlling just 29 out of the 56. Bersatu has 11 state assemblymen while Umno has 16.
The composition makes the alliance frail, Khaled readily admitted. He blasted Bersatu for playing “the numbers game”, calling it a hindrance to the state’s development.
“PN can only function and strengthen at its best in Johor if it can produce a robust grand strategy as to how to unlock the state’s real potential,” he said.
“Johor’s development, with a clear vision and an administration based on good values and best practices, should be the real measuring stick for PN’s strength.”