KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the coalition would not work with former ally Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) for the Johor state election as the latter was not in the Opposition.
News portal Malaysiakini reported the PKR president as dismissing the proposal of Johor Baru Bersatu deputy chief Razrul Anwar Rusli.
He said PH remained open to working with other parties in the Opposition but pointed out that Bersatu was clearly a ruling party.
“The matter does not arise. We are the Opposition, is Bersatu in the Opposition?” he was quoted saying after chairing the PH presidential council meeting.
Malaysiakini reported Razrul as proposing a “Muafakat Rakyat Johor” coalition that would include Bersatu, PH, Parti Warisan (Warisan), Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda).
Bersatu, despite its minimal share of the parliamentary seats in the Dewan Rakyat is the lynchpin in Perikatan Nasional (PN), with members made up of Islamist party PAS, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan), Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) and the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) as partners while Umno is the anchor in Barisan Nasional (BN) with the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) as partners. GPS is Sarawak-based while PBS is Sabah-based.
Last Saturday, Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar consented to the dissolution of the Johor State Legislative Assembly to pave the way for the state election.
Rumours about a snap state election started shortly after the death of Kempas assemblyman Datuk Osman Sapian from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) last December 21.
The death of Osman, whose party is part of the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, had put the current state government situation as a one-seat majority in the Johor state assembly.