Bersatu man rubbishes The Star report about PN withdrawing support for Ismail

(FMT) – A Bersatu leader has rubbished a report that Perikatan Nasional (PN) may withdraw its support for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob over his reluctance to appoint a deputy prime minister from the party.

Bersatu Supreme Council member Faiz Na’aman dismissed the report by The Star as “untrue” and “provocative”, maintaining that the party will continue to back Ismail.

“The Supreme Council had never made such a decision,” he told FMT.

Earlier, Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan revealed that Ismail had cancelled his meeting with PN secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin at the last minute.

The meeting slated for yesterday was said to involve the agreement signed between PN and the Umno vice-president before Ismail’s appointment as the prime minister.

Wan Saiful expressed disappointment over the meeting’s cancellation, saying Bersatu wanted the prime minister to “respect PN the way he respects Pakatan Harapan”.

On July 28, PN voiced disappointment with Ismail over his failure to fulfil promises he made to the coalition. According to leaked copies of the agreement, a deputy prime minister’s post had been promised to PN lynchpin Bersatu.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had denied the existence of such an agreement between PN and Ismail, but its secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan later admitted to drafting a “memorandum of agreement” between the two sides in August 2021.

Quoting sources, The Star earlier today reported that the PN leadership’s frustration with Ismail had reached “boiling point” after the cancellation of the meeting between the prime minister and Hamzah.

Citing a Sabah PN leader, the report said the option of withdrawing support for Ismail was discussed at a coalition meeting last week.

However, the leader said it would be a last resort should the prime minister continue to refuse to fulfill his agreement with PN.