KUCHING, July 2 — The informal Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition has agreed that Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will lead its joint campaign in the 15th general election, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing said today.
He said the consensus was reached in a meeting of 12 component party leaders yesterday.
Masing added this meant Muhyiddin would also remain as the prime minister if PN won the general election.
“This understanding augurs well for the PN when GE15 is called, unlike PH (Pakatan Harapan) which is still plagued by dispute between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, as to who should be the prime minister should PH win the fight after GE15, “ Masing in a statement.
Muhyiddin and the rest of the PN leaders were also confident of a victory so long as they can reach an agreement on related matters, Masing said.
However, he expressed confidence that these would be resolved without significant problems.
One key issue was the division of seats among the parties, particularly between Bersatu, Umno and PAS that all appeal to the Malay electorate.
“The sooner the better. If they cannot overcome their historical and personality differences before going to battle; there is a danger that PN may not only lose the internal battle within its own organisation, but the war of GE15 in the end,” he said in reference to overlap.
However, Masing said unifying theme in PN was their common rejection of DAP.
“In this aspect MCA needs to strengthen itself to fight for the Chinese communities in Malaysia,” he added.
He also said Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, who is Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, has clearly conveyed his coalition’s stand in relation to PN.
“GPS supports Muhyiddin as the prime minister and will give him its full support to lead the charge comes GE15.
“He (Abang Johari) told the meeting that the 12th state election for Sarawak is just round the corner, and GPS is ready,” Masing, who is also the deputy chief minister, stressed.
He said Muhyiddin and PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang have both agreed that their parties would not contest in the Sarawak poll.
“This assurance not only will clear the way for GPS to fight the opposition head on, but it is a good sign that PN component parties respect and honour its commitment to assist GPS when PRN12 is called,” he said.
Both Bersatu and PAS have established branches in Sarawak. Umno does not have an official presence here due to a previous arrangement brokered within Barisan Nasional.
Muhyiddin yesterday chaired a two-hour meeting with the leaders of the PN parties.