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

(FMT) – Grassroots leaders of 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 Muhyiddin 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 Muhyiddin’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.