IPOH, Oct 15 — PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said his party was caught by surprise over Umno’s review of its support for the ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition (PN).
He said the party will seek an explanation from Umno about this as well as the latter’s expressed plan to formalise the Muafakat Nasional (MN) pact, according to the New Straits Times.
PAS and Umno signed a formal charter to cooperate in MN but only the former is a direct member of PN.
“We are confident that any internal issue can be solved through discussion with all parties involved,” he was quoted as saying.
Umno purports to support PN only in matters of confidence and supply but its leaders are ministers in the federal administration.
However, any revocation of support from Umno for PN at the federal level would turn the coalition into a minority government.
Umno released a statement on Tuesday to say it would review its position towards PN unless the party received improved terms.
The Malay nationalist party said this after Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim met with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong over his claim to have secured the support of over 120 MPs to take over the government.
PAS vice-president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said his party did not know why Umno chose to do so, as it did not get any direct information from its ally.
“If it’s a decision by Umno, we (PAS) can’t do anything about it.
“However, I’m wondering what Umno’s real intention is,” said the Kelantan mentri besar.
Separately, Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said it was his party’s right to re-evaluate its position towards PN at any time.
He also urged allies in BN and MN not to overreact to his party’s statement, insisting that Umno was committed to political stability.
“There may be certain reasons why Umno wants to review its position in the PN government.
“And it is not impossible that through that review the PN government can be strengthened by a more organised and understanding consultation,” he said in a statement.
He also said Umno, PAS, and Muhyiddin’s Bersatu have an “equal responsibility” for this, alluding to his party’s desire to no longer be treated as a junior member in the informal co-operation.
Umno leaders, including former president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, have repeatedly complained that their party has been sidelined in the cooperation with PN despite being the largest among the three Malay-based parties.
“Therefore, it is not wrong for Umno, PAS and Bersatu to return to the political ‘drawing board’ so that we can draw something better for Malaysia. For that we need to be calm and act wisely,” Annuar added.