KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) Mohd Izhar Ahmad announced his resignation from the party today, becoming the second Johor leader to quit this week citing a loss of confidence in Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s leadership.
In further signs of trouble at the Perikatan Nasional (PN) lynchpin ahead of the Johor state election, the incumbent Larkin assemblyman also said he would not be defending the seat and instead urged voters to back the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
BN and PN are nominally allied in the federal government but have been openly hostile towards one another in recent elections.
“In my opinion, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin did not only fail to bring the party to a better position, but he also did not make any effort to heal the party after the split with Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s camp,” he was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini.
“This not not only stunted the party’s development but had also affected Bersatu idealism and hence has an impact on the Malays and interest of Islam. In other words, the main factor that caused me to leave Bersatu is because I have lost my confidence in Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin.”
Muhyiddin replaced Dr Mahathir as the prime minister during the “Sheraton Move” of 2020, before being ousted himself last year by Umno whose vice president, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is the current PM.
Earlier this week, former Johor Bersatu chief Mazlan Bujang also resigned from the party, after saying he no longer had confidence in Muhyiddin’s leadership.
Mazlan did not rejoin Umno as expected, however, but still publicly urged voters and supporters to back the Malay nationalist party and the BN coalition.
Earlier today, Bersatu and PN ally PAS announced they will contest in the Johor state election independently of Umno, and reminded the Malay nationalist party that it should not take their support for the BN federal government for granted.
The veiled threat appeared moot, however, as Umno is believed to already be gearing up for an early general election that it has also indicated it would contest without cooperating with Bersatu and PAS.
Last Saturday, Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar gave his royal assent to the dissolution of the state legislative assembly, paving the way for an early state election.
It was triggered last week after caretaker mentri besar Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad from Umno sought the dissolution of the state assembly despite still holding a one-seat majority.
The Election Commission (EC) is scheduled to meet on February 9 to decide the nomination and polling dates for Johor.
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