Umno, PAS and Bersatu must present a united front at the next general election or risk the prospect of three-cornered fights, Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has said, as reported by Mingguan Malaysia today.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia, the PAS deputy president said political cooperation between the three parties is crucial to avoid repeating the outcome of the previous general election, which saw an Opposition-led coalition take control of federal power for the first time in the country’s history.
In the interview, Tuan Ibrahim was asked whether PAS had any confidence that its political cooperation with Umno, under the Muafakat Nasional (MN) banner, could wrest control of Putrajaya without Bersatu, to which he replied that each party has its own strengths.
“It is possible to establish a government. If we look at the projections, the formation of a government can happen with PAS and Umno minus Bersatu. But the issue is that it will lead to three-cornered fights. When there are three-cornered fights, there is a risk of marginal seats being split.
“For example, in Selangor and Terengganu, it will revert to the same situation as the 14th general election,” said Tuan Ibrahim.
Tuan Ibrahim said that Bersatu has proven that it has strong support because it won many seats in the Sabah state elections that took place in September.
“That is why we can’t say that the party [Bersatu] has no strengths. Yes, we admit that as a new party, it doesn’t have as much grassroots support as Umno and PAS. But does it have any influence, does it have any supporters?
“Yes, it does, as it won the Sabah state election. So if we were to look at it now, voter sentiment has changed, especially among the youth, as they are not tied to [political] parties,” he said.
In the same interview, Tuan Ibrahim acknowledged the contentious relationship between Umno and Bersatu, but stressed the need for all parties to sit down and discuss matters amicably, as well as a willingness to strike a compromise.
“While negotiating as part of this cooperation, those who have should not be stingy, while those who ask should not be greedy,’’ he said.
The environment and water minister also expressed confidence in Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s leadership.
He reiterated that once Bersatu had formally entered MN, all parties agreed that Muhyiddin would remain as their choice for prime minister.