After allies push back, Amanah deputy president argues Bersatu and PAS are Opposition in Johor and Melaka

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The Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president insisted that both should not be automatically excluded from PH’s ‘big tent’ concept solely on the basis that they were part of the federal government. — Picture by Ben Tan
The Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president insisted that both should not be automatically excluded from PH’s ‘big tent’ concept solely on the basis that they were part of the federal government. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, April 28 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and PAS were state Opposition parties in Johor and Melaka, Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub insisted to allies in Pakatan Harapan today.

The Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president insisted that both should not be automatically excluded from PH’s “big tent” concept solely on the basis that they were part of the federal government.

Salahuddin continued today with his proposal despite rejection from PH allies as well as PAS; Bersatu has remained non-committal to the notion of cooperating for the coming 15th General Election (GE15).

“After the state elections for the two states, both Bersatu and PAS are now part of the Opposition in Melaka and Johor. So, as part of the Opposition there is a need to discuss their involvement on issues of public importance and not only on the ‘big tent’ initiative.

“The discussions can touch on any common understanding,” said Salahuddin after he lodged a report urged authorities to initiate investigations into an alleged plot to undermine the country’s judiciary system at the Johor Baru North district police headquarters here today.

He was accompanied by Johor Amanah’s party mobilisation chief Onn Jaafar and other members.

Salahuddin said he understood that for both Bersatu and PAS would need the approval of their party’s leaderships for them to join in the “big tent” initiative.

“It is really up to their respective leaders or presidential councils.

“For me, why don’t we (PH, Bersatu and PAS leaders) just sit down and have tea and discuss matters of interest,” said Salahuddin.

Yesterday, it was reported that PAS election director Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the Islamist party will not participate in political cooperation or take the “big tent” initiative reportedly proposed by certain Opposition leaders to face Barisan Nasional (BN) in the GE15.

Last Saturday, Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the party has yet to make a stand on the “big tent” initiative to face the GE15.

On April 21, Salahuddin urged the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership to be open to holding discussions with all Opposition bloc parties, including those within Perikatan Nasional (PN), ahead of GE15.

He said such a move in the “big tent” initiative is important to ensure that all parties within the Opposition bloc can be united in tackling BN as well as its lynchpin party Umno in the coming polls.

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