Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin rebuffed allegations that he was the reason why his party’s delay in joining Pakatan Harapan.
Denying he suffered “cold feet”, the former deputy prime minister said the delay was because his party wanted more time to engage with Pakatan Harapan leaders who had previously been rivals, before jumping into bed with the PKR-DAP-Amanah pact.
“Some say I got cold feet or backed out from the agreement signing. I have never backed out. I am quite serious and have already drafted the agreement.
“I asked for it to be postponed so that all of the leadership in PPBM and Pakatan can sit and discuss together to agree on all the terms,” the Pagoh MP who was until a few months back Umno deputy president and second-in-command of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Citing anonymous sources, The Star reported yesterday that Muhyiddin was hesitant to join Pakatan Harapan and was hoping to form a separate coalition with PKR.
In his speech at the inaugural Pakatan Harapan convention here, Muhyiddin disclosed the issues both sides needed to smoothen out in preparation for a common policy framework ahead of the 14th general elections due by 2018.
“This also includes views on Sabah, Islam as federal religion and other religions and BM as national language. The agreement also touches on institutional reform as well combatting corruption,” he said.
Muhyiddin also said a meeting will be held with the Pakatan Harapan secretariat soon to finalise the agreement.
“I have asked the Pakatan secretariat to decide upon a date in the soonest time for the leaders to sit and discuss.
After the terms of the agreement are agreed upon in the discussion, I will represent PPBM in signing the cooperation treaty with Pakatan,” he said.
Muhyiddin also admitted that his party will lose if it does not join the Pakatan Harapan pact and sought to run solo in the elections.
“If we contest alone, we cannot win. Pakatan parties also cannot win if contest alone and if they don’t start a political cooperation.
“What more if we are going against ourselves. We would lose even before we enter the ring,” he said.
In a press conference later, Muhyiddin added that PPBM’s negotiations with PAS was also not the reason for postponing his party’s deal with Pakatan Harapan.
“No, that’s not the reason. We are currently in discussion and we are prepared to face the elections together.
“We are a new party and we want to engage with all political parties,” Muhyiddin said.
Meanwhile, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the new party founded by former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was not invited to the Pakatan Harapan convention because it was local-based while the Opposition bloc sought to focus on national level politics.
However, the Opposition leader said discussions will be held soon with Parti Warisan Sabah leaders, including Shafie and his vice-president Darell Leiking, who was formerly from PKR.
“We are in discussion. Warisan is local-based, we are up for national now,” Dr Wan Azizah said.
Source : KAMLES KUMAR@The Malay Mail Online