BERSATU STARTS TO BEND – FIRST TO GO IS AZMIN’S DE-FACTO DPM POSITION – BUT THAT’S ONLY THE HEADLINE CONCESSION TO UMNO – THE ‘FINE PRINT’ ONES INVOLVING ZAHID & NAJIB’S COURT CASES, SEATS SHARING & MORE LARGESSE YET TO BE TRASHED OUT: AND EVEN IF UMNO FINALLY DECIDES ON ANWAR – ‘IT MAY ONLY BE UNTIL THE COVID-19 SITUATION STABILIZES’

Some in PPBM feel Muhyiddin should give in to Umno to save coalition

PETALING JAYA: Some grassroots leaders in PPBM are worried that the coalition government led by their party may collapse.

They feel the PPBM leadership should give in to some of Umno’s demands, including the deputy prime minister’s post, to preserve the government.

This comes as Umno considers retracting support for Perikatan Nasional if its demands are not met.

Three grassroots leaders FMT spoke to said after the falling-out with Umno in Sabah, PPBM leaders needed to give in to Umno to save the coalition.

A division leader from the Klang Valley, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were still in the dark over the meeting between Umno’s Ahmad Maslan and Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin last night.

Muhyiddin is also the PPBM president.

“We don’t know the outcome of the meeting, but we hope Muyhiddin did what is best for the party.

“We heard Umno is asking for the deputy prime minister’s post. Why not just give it to them? It will save the coalition,” he said, referring to speculation that Umno was eyeing the No. 2 post in the government, among other demands such as a Cabinet reshuffle.

He said PPBM was warned by Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Umno would pull some stunts to ensure there was no prosecution of its leaders.

Barisan Nasional lost the May 2018 general election but found its way back to power in February by supporting Muhyiddin as the prime minister in the new Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.

The division chief said: “Some of us think that it is silly not to give in to Umno. The party leaders need to understand that Umno has the majority of parliamentarian support. If they pull out, the government collapses.”

A PPBM branch head from another state told FMT that Muhyiddin might have to sacrifice Azmin Ali who takes charge of the country during his absence.

On March 11, during Muyhiddin’s first press conference after taking over the government, he said his senior minister, Azmin, would chair Cabinet meetings in his absence.

“We are a small party. We decided to work with Umno. Now if they want the deputy prime minister’s post, we must be willing to agree. If not, we may lose the government,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, some of the party’s own division heads had been urging the leadership to have a Cabinet reshuffle as some of the PPBM ministers were not up to mark.

“We need to prove our worth to Malaysians by placing candidates of calibre,” he said.

He added that at least three PPBM ministers did not have a good public image and should be replaced.

Another branch committee member told FMT that frustration was rising among the lower ranks of the party.

“The leaders are neither giving us anything nor giving in to other parties,” he said, referring to Umno’s threat to pull out of PN.

He said PPBM members who had supported Muhyiddin felt they were being neglected.

“At least give us some small projects or small businesses so that we have money to do party work. Habuk pun tak da (nothing at all),” he said.

“We feel neglected under Dr Mahathir Mohamad and now under Muhyiddin.”

On Sept 23, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim claimed that he had the majority support of MPs to form a new government.

Yesterday, Umno Supreme Council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said people should not be surprised if Umno backed Anwar if he had a winning formula to ensure equal power among political parties. – FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

Umno said to be pushing same power-sharing formula to Muhyiddin, Anwar

PETALING JAYA: Umno is presenting to Muhyiddin Yassin and Anwar Ibrahim the same formula for sharing power, according to Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan insiders.

If neither of the two accepts the formula, it will consider triggering snap polls, the sources say.

A BN insider said: “If talks between Muhyiddin and Umno fail, Umno members may push Zahid (party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) to support Anwar when he meets the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.”

The BN source told FMT some Umno members were hoping for a Cabinet reshuffle to strengthen the party’s position in the Perikatan Nasional coalition and for a deputy prime minister’s post to be allotted to it.

“Also, some of the Umno members are uncomfortable with one or two PPBM ministers who have a lot of control over Muhyiddin,” he said.

He said Umno had until Zahid’s royal audience to present its demands to PPBM.

“The focus is now to see whether Umno and PPBM can seal a deal,” he said.

If it failed to get PPBM to agree to its proposals, he said, it would try to make a deal with Anwar to trigger snap polls.

The source said some of the Umno MPs who were earlier supporting Anwar for prime minister had decided to pull back after last month’s election in Sabah in the belief that they could no longer trust anyone.

He said this was because they had backed PPBM to form a new government but failed to have state Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin appointed the chief minister.

“If they back Anwar, they do not know how Anwar will react after getting the prime minister’s post. But if Anwar agrees to the formula to share power equally, they may decide to join him.”

The source from Pakatan Harapan told FMT members of the coalition were now awaiting the outcome of talks between Umno and PPBM.

“Even if Umno finally backs Anwar,” he said, “it may only be until the Covid-19 situation settles”.

FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

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