ON the back of UMNO having dropped the axe on three divisional leaders last night (Dec 8), it has been revealed that speculation is rife of a growing movement within Perikatan Nasional (PN) to sideline its chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (main pic, left) with some accusing him of being the stumbling block to forging a cooperation with the federal government.
In a damning report, insiders hinted to the New Straits Times (NST) of rumblings of discontent within the coalition over the increasingly isolated role that PN is assuming in the political sphere despite securing a resounding victory in the Padang Serai parliamentary election on Wednesday (Dec 7).
Some leaders had voiced concern over the coalition’s long-term plans and whether it should remain in the opposition camp when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had in fact extended an olive branch to PN to join his unity government that was mooted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.
“There is also this perception that had it not been for Muhyiddin vetoing any cooperation with PH and Barisan Nasional (BN), some of our leaders may have been given positions in the new federal set-up,” the source told NST.
Reports suggested that senior leaders had in recent weeks explored the possibility of replacing Muhyiddin who is also the Bersatu president with the party’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.
The rejection of any cooperation with PH and BN is understood to have sparked numerous concerns particularly to PAS whose leaders believe that its Malay-Muslim base could be aggrieved by such move, and especially so as it has gone against the wisdom of the King who was in favour for all parties to form a unity government.
However, a senior PAS leader when contacted by NST had rejected the claim, accusing it as merely an attempt to create internal strife within PN.
“There is no such thing. This is an attempt by desperate people to weaken PN. They (the ones who made the claim) are disrespecting the choice of the people,” the PAS leader told the mainstream newspaper while referring to PN’s gains during GE15.
On talks about replacing Muhyiddin with Hamzah, the PAS leader said this was merely borne out of fear over PN’s growing influence.
“(There are) certain quarters who have begun to fear PN (and its political clout). With the latest results from Padang Serai, it seems that people are in favour of PN.”
Another party insider said such accusations were meant to divert attention from internal problems within the unity government.
“This is an attempt to cover up internal problems stemming from the unity government between BN and PH. PN remains solid and support for the coalition is getting stronger,” the source told NST.
“We do not have issues in the party leadership. We are all standing firm in support of the PN chairman.” – Dec 9, 2022