Umno Supreme Council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi warned his party and PAS that they risk turning into pawns if they supported Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister (PM) candidate in the 15th general election.
He cited PKR and DAP, who are both Pakatan Harapan allies with large numbers of seats in Parliament, who became pawns after supporting a Bersatu leader as the PM candidate.
“Look at the big parties like PKR and DAP which pawned the premier post to Bersatu. They became a pawn themselves at the end,” Puad said on Facebook today.
“Don’t let what happen to Harapan be repeated in Muafakat Nasional. Moreover, the people are asking if Muhyiddin and his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad were friends or foes,” he said.
In Perikatan Nasional (PN), all eyes are on how the three Malay-based parties, Umno, PAS, and Bersatu, which traditionally contest in the same Malay heartland, would arrive at a consensus on seat allocations for the next poll.
Speculation had been rife that Muhyiddin might call for a snap poll by this year.
On July 2, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Muafakat Nasional co-secretary-general Annuar Musa reportedly declared their support for Muhyiddin as the PM candidate in the next poll.
“It is strange that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Umno’s Annuar Musa proposed Muhyiddin as the PM candidate for next poll,” said Puad.
“Their proposal was as though the PM post could be pawned,” he said.
“Umno should not be made a pawn by those who defected to Bersatu for the sake of ministerial posts, deputy ministerial posts, and development allocation,” said Puad.
“The landslide victory in the Chini by-election is a signal from the people to the Umno-PAS members who want Umno and Muafakat Nasional to return to lead,” he said.
“Both Umno and PAS have close to five million members but Bersatu’s members do not even reach 100,000,” he said.
Puad then urged Umno to seek approval from the grassroots before naming Muhyiddin as the PM.
“A huge decision such as pawning the premiership post to Bersatu must get the approval of the grassroots members.