KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has not given up on a formal Perikatan Nasional coalition despite Umno’s spectacular refusal to join yesterday, according to sources within the informal grouping.
They told Singapore’s The Straits Times that the prime minister was proceeding with efforts to register the informal coalition before calling a general election.
“The plan is to go ahead regardless of Umno. Wait for the announcement on PN.
“Registration is done,” one source was quoted as saying.
The same source also asserted that PAS was agreeable to joining a formal PN coalition despite also being part of the Muafakat Nasional alliance with Umno.
Yesterday, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that his party would not formally enter the PN coalition and would instead concentrate on developing the MN alliance with PAS and the rest of Barisan Nasional.
While he said this did not mean the PN government has collapsed, he said Umno’s support for the coalition was only to allow it to form the federal government and some state administrations.
The remarks suggested that this support was limited to matters of confidence and supply.
The timing of his announcement came just two days after former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak was convicted of all seven charges in his SRC International trial.
Zahid also has an ongoing trial for money laundering and corruption that is heading to its conclusion.
When asked if his announcement was related to Najib’s conviction, Zahid declined to elaborate but he asserted earlier that the decision was made on July 24.
The Umno president also revealed that Muhyiddin met with some BN lawmakers on Thursday to explore Bersatu’s entry into MN.