As Umno leaders meet, PAS sticks by a PN govt

(FMT) – As Umno leaders met in Ipoh tonight over the formation of a new Perak state government, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has called for Perikatan Nasional to remain in control.

Tuan Ibrahim said it is hoped the new state government would not be dominated by the opposition.

“It should remain under PN. This should be protected and there should be consultation. Whatever it is, I need to respect Umno and I am confident the party has a solution,” he told reporters after visiting flood-affected houses in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.

His remark comes in the wake of news reports suggesting that Umno might link up with Pakatan Harapan parties Amanah and PKR for a majority in the state assembly, enabling it to form a new government.

Umno has 25 seats in the 59-member state assembly, while Amanah has 5 seats and PKR 5.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was at a meeting with state Umno leaders in Ipoh tonight, at which three candidates for the menteri besar’s post are to be considered. The three are speculated to be state Umno leader Saarani Mohamad, former menteri besar Zambry Kadir, and Rungkup assemblyman Shahrul Zaman Yahya, Malaysiakini reported.

The PN-led state government of Ahmad Faizal Azumu had relied on the support of 33 members from Umno (25), PPBM (5) and PAS (3), with a Gerakan and an independent member as allies.

Pakatan Harapan has the support of 24 seats from DAP (14), Amanah and PKR. However, Umno leaders have stated before that the party would not cooperate with the DAP.

Tuan Ibrahim said the national PAS leadership would discuss the fall of Ahmad Faizal’s government after being defeated on a confidence motion by 48 votes to 10, with one abstention.

Tuan Ibrahim said several issues to be discussed, involving cooperation with Umno in Muafakat Nasional (the alliance of Umno, PAS and PPBM) and Perikatan Nasional, which groups PPBM, PAS, and several minor parties.

He said there had not been discussions between PAS and Umno about the confidence motion before hand. However, PAS was confident of finding a solution over Umno’s move, he said.

Yesterday, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said PAS would not take part in the formation of a new state government.

Perak PAS commissioner Razman Zakaria said the party would defend Perikatan Nasional as the basis of a state government built upon a consensus between PAS, PPBM and Umno.

“For PAS, the principle is that we will not be with PPBM without Umno and we won’t be only with Umno without PPBM,” he said after Ahmad Faizal announced he had resigned as menteri besar.