KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Youth wing chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman yesterday asked if Umno and PAS would demand to contest in seats held by Bersatu, and PKR defectors such as Gombak MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) flag.
In a Facebook Live session last night, discussing the direction of Bersatu with Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik, Syed Saddiq claimed that an agreement has already been reached within PN members, to allow Bersatu to keep its seat but his political friends in Umno told him that it might not be the case.
“I want to ask several questions to Umno leadership who are now seen as Bersatu’s ally, because I want to get clarification but when I asked them they too cannot verify what has been promised to us in Bersatu.
“Just look at Selangor. Even though it’s an Opposition state, Muafakat Nasional is the one moving together ... PAS and Umno. The same thing is also happening in other states and PN is only being seen as a temporary coalition,” he said, referring to the political agreement made by Umno and PAS, prior to the formation of PN.
Barisan Nasional (BN) along with Islamist party PAS; once bitter rivals, had banded together to form Muafakat Nasional in order to take back Putrajaya.
After forming the informal alliance with PAS, BN went on to win several by-elections in Cameron Highlands, Semenyih, Rantau and Tanjung Piai.
“Secondly what I want to ask is that the promise to us before this was that all Parliament and state seats won by Bersatu would not be contested by Umno, PAS or other allies.
“I will give you an example. Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin’s seat (Larut) in Perak would not be contested by Umno, (Datuk) Mas Ermieyati Samsudin’s seat (Masjid Tanah), Tok Pa’s (Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Jeli) seat would not be contested. Our new friends like Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Zuraida’s seats, would not be contested by Umno or PAS, as well as 13 of Bersatu held seats. This means that 37 parliament seats under Bersatu would not be contested by Umno and PAS.
“I want to ask Umno and PAS leaderships if this agreement has been done because what was briefed to us is that there has been an agreement,” he added.
However, he said that based on his talks with his friends in Umno, it was impossible for the party to give up from contesting for the seats which it once exerted control over.
“They won’t let go of Gombak that is under Azmin and the Ampang seat under Zuraida and others.
“However, what was briefed to us was that there has been an understanding. So that’s why I want to ask them. If it’s true that this agreement has been made. Would Umno and PAS not contest in any seats held by Bersatu? So, the 37 Bersatu MPs would contest without Umno and PAS?,” the former youth and sports minister questioned.
Early this month, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir suggested that it was better for Bersatu to return to Pakatan Harapan (PH) for its survival in the next general election, instead of remaining with the PN coalition.
In a statement on his Facebook page, the Bersatu vice-president questioned party president and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s own political fate if the cooperation between the PN parties fizzles out once they begin contesting against each other.