Bersatu yet to give up on Perak MB post, say sources

(MMO) – Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) is gunning to retake the Perak mentri besar position it was forced to relinquish just days ago.

Sources close to the party said Bersatu is enlisting the aid of PAS to ensure the continuity of its Perikatan Nasional (PN) government in Perak after Umno triggered the no-confidence vote against its deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu in a surprise move last week.

“Bersatu wants to nominate a mentri besar from the party and is now working with PAS to get support from individual state assemblymen,” one source close to Bersatu said.

Another source close to PAS said the Islamist party sees this as fair.

“We have Bersatu, PAS and Umno leaders in the federal government which is a fantastically good thing for the people.

“In Perak, we should do the same,” said the second source, asking not to be identified.

Meanwhile, another source close to Umno said the party is aware that Bersatu plans to reclaim the mentri besar’s seat.

“Bersatu also plans to nominate someone from the party for the mentri besar post.

“They insist that they have a say in this regardless of what transpired last week,” said the source who is familiar with ongoing negotiations in Perak.

The parties are currently in a stalemate over who will be Perak’s next mentri besar.

Time is also ticking away with the state budget for 2021 yet to be tabled. It was originally scheduled to be presented in the state legislature tomorrow, but current events since last Friday makes this unlikely now.

Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah of Perak had earlier summoned leaders and several assemblymen to Istana Kinta in Ipoh to find out who commanded the majority in the state legislative assembly.

Umno nominated its Kota Tampan state assemblyman Datuk Saarani Mohammad for the MB post, and insisted he had a simple majority.

Perak Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders had an audience with Sultan Nazrin this afternoon, but declined to say if they supported Saarani. However, they made clear that PH did not offer any of its assemblymen as MB candidates.

After an eventful day of politicians being ushered into and out of Istana Kinta, palace official Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini said the Perak Ruler is not convinced any party has sufficient majority to form a new government right now.

Ahmad Faizal, who is also Perak Bersatu chief, issued a statement this evening clarifying that the party has yet to be officially summoned for an audience with the Perak Ruler.

PAS assemblymen too, have yet to speak with Sultan Nazrin. State news wire Bernama reported Perak PAS commissioner Razman Zakaria saying the party’s central leadership ordered the state representatives to cancel their audience this afternoon.

In yesterday’s supreme council meeting, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said they are still upset with Umno’s move to oust Ahmad Faizal, saying the party is seeking to strengthen its relationship with PAS in the state.

Umno’s supreme council, which also convened last night, said it has agreed to defend the PN government in the state.

The Barisan Nasional supreme council is scheduled to have a meeting at Menara Dato Onn here to discuss the Perak crisis tonight.