Prove PN can take power, or lose more MPs, says insider

A source close to a Bersatu leader says a couple more MPs are rumoured to be next to pledge their support for the prime minister.

More Bersatu MPs will pledge support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim unless the opposition can prove it can change the government soon, a source close to a party leader said.

The party insider, who asked to be unnamed, said Perikatan Nasional leaders must furnish “solid proof” that such a takeover was imminent.

Otherwise, more Bersatu MPs would switch support to Anwar’s government, the source said.

PN had claimed that it could take over Putrajaya if it registered big wins at the elections in six states last August. A similar claim was made at the Kemaman by-election in Terengganu.

Talk about wresting power from the unity government cropped up again following claims by PN election director Sanusi Nor that the coalition had enough sworn statements of support from MPs to enable a change of government.

“But if we don’t offer them (opposition MPs) anything solid, they will eventually pledge support for Anwar. In a way, we are being pressured to move quickly,” the source told FMT.

The source said a couple more MPs had been rumoured to be next to pledge their support for Anwar.

To date, six Bersatu MPs have backed Anwar on grounds that it was for the well-being of their constituents.

The six are Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan), Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli) and Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi (Tanjung Karang).

Yesterday, Syed Hussin claimed that more Bersatu MPs would back Anwar before Parliament reconvenes on Feb 26.

The source said that despite such a possibility, many Bersatu leaders were more focussed on the party polls likely to take place this year. “Certain top leaders are keeping a low profile as they want to retain their posts,” he said.

Muhyiddin’s U-turn

Another Bersatu leader said the decision by some of its MPs to back the government may have been prompted by Muhyiddin Yassin’s U-turn on giving up the presidency.

“Some members were keen to have a new leader after the party failed to form the government after the general election,” the leader said.

If Muhyiddin had stuck to his original decision of not retaining the post, there might not have been MPs pledging support to Anwar, he said. “The MPs feel the party is losing direction hence it needs a new leader to get it back on track.”

Muhyiddin had announced at the party congress last year that he would bow out as party leader, but a day later said he had changed his mind after speaking to his wife.

Syed Hussin claimed yesterday that Muhyiddin’s U-turn had upset members.