Under fire for alliance with Dr M’s party, Pakatan says will work with anyone to remove BN

saifuddin abdullah

(MMO) – Pakatan Harapan is prepared to work with any party that wants to unseat the Barisan Nasional government, its leaders said amid criticism over the coalition’s alliance with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new Bumiputera-centric party.

Pakatan Harapan secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said it was too early to pass judgement on Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin formally sought to register yesterday.

The former deputy prime minister said the party aim to defend Malay and Bumiputera interests, but will allow non-Bumiputera members who may not stand for internal elections.

“As far as Pakatan Harapan is concern, our priority is to work together among opposition political parties to oust BN in GE14,” he told Malay Mail Online yesterday.

“We have to wait for the (new) party to be properly established before we know what it is like. Secondly, there is a difference between a race-based party and a racist party.”

PKR’s Zuraida Kamaruddin said that they welcomed the new party and stated it was the newcomer’s prerogative to decide what demographic to choose as its preferred audience.

“But that is their choice and they feel there is a niche there to capture the Umno crowd,” the Ampang MP told reporters after officiating the party women wing’s general meeting Sunday at Subang Jaya.

“But what is important is they are going to combine together with us. And the common number one agenda is to take down the federal government. To topple Barisan Nasional.”

Parti Amanah Negara deputy president Salahuddin Ayub gave his assurance that the new party by Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin was not racist, citing the months of work his party has shared with them for the Save Malaysia movement.

He added that Amanah would not have backed any party that exists purely for Malay interests.

“I strongly believe we are on the same page. That is why Amanah strongly support the objective of this new party.”

Last month, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim suggested that former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin be made federal opposition leader and prime minister-designate.

Earlier in July, Dr Mahathir confirmed that he will be a founding member of a new political party that will ally with Pakatan Harapan to ensure straight fights against the BN ruling coalition in the coming general elections.

An aide to Muhyiddin yesterday confirmed that Dr Mahathir will be the chairman of Parti Pribumi while the former will be its president.