PETALING JAYA • Malaysia’s Islamist party PAS has formally joined Perikatan Nasional (PN), making it only the second official member of the ruling alliance after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s own political organisation, according to a source.
The PN alliance was registered with the Registrar of Societies under the name Parti Perikatan Nasional two weeks ago and has a logo which will be used by the component parties and PN-friendly parties in the next general election, The Star online news reported yesterday.
The entry of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) as an official PN member is an important milestone for Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia as he tries to solidify the loose PN alliance.
PN came to power just five months ago as several blocs of lawmakers who were formerly political enemies joined up to topple the Pakatan Harapan administration.
“There is an agreed pro-tem committee which will make the decisions for Perikatan on behalf of Bersatu and PAS,” the source told The Star.
PN altogether has control of just half of the 222 seats in Parliament, the weakest ruling alliance since the country’s independence.
The move to turn PN into a formal coalition – through the registration – is a move to ensure the loyalty of its allies.
But Umno, the biggest party in PN with 38 federal lawmakers, has said it would not become an official member of PN, although it will support its policies.
Umno has further said it prefers to strengthen instead a separate faction called Muafakat Nasional with PAS. Bersatu has only just been accepted as Muafakat’s third member, in Malaysia’s ever-shifting political alliances.
Gabungan Parti Sarawak, with 13 MPs, has also said it is staying out of PN but is supportive of its policies.
The pro-tem committee of PN for now comprises PAS’ deputy president Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar and secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan.
Bersatu is represented by its secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin and PN government Whip Azmin Ali.