BN told Muhyiddin to counter Anwar’s offer, says source

Ravin Palanisamy

Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin must make Barisan Nasional an offer in writing inviting it to form the government with his bloc, says a source. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 23, 2022.

BARISAN Nasional (BN) told Perikatan Nasional (PN) leaders what Anwar Ibrahim is offering it to form the new federal government, say sources familiar with events that transpired during a two-hour meeting at a hotel in the capital.

It asked Muhyiddin Yassin to counter the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman’s offer in writing.

“They (BN leaders) wanted the offer to be in writing, and both (PH and PN’s) offers will then be discussed at tonight’s supreme council meeting,” a source told The Malaysian Insight.

The meeting lasted close to two hours before leaders of both coalitions left through another exit without addressing the media.

Earlier, it was reported that BN lawmakers were meeting PN chairman Muhyiddin to hear his case for a unity government.

Besides Muhyiddin, the other PN leaders who were present were deputy chairman Abdul Hadi Awang, Perak PN chairman Ahmad Faizal Azumu, secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin, Bersatu vice-president Radzi Jidin, Gerakan chief Dominic Lau, and Bersatu vice-president Ronald Kiandee.

BN was represented by deputy chairman Mohamad Hasan, Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, MIC deputy president M. Saravanan, and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah deputy-president Arthur Joseph Kurup.

This meeting came after BN’s top three met the Agong.

BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Agong decreed that his coalition be part of a unity government.

Malaysiakini reported that Zahid and other leaders received the decree from the king when they met him early this morning.

“Tuanku’s decree was to form a unity government,” Zahid was quoted as saying by the news portal.

On BN not backing any other political coalition to form the government, Zahid said it was not part of the king’s order.

Zahid said the matter will be deliberated by Umno and BN’s supreme councils later.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin, who met with the king, rejected the possibility of forming a unity government with PH. 

Anwar, who similarly met with the king, said besides wanting a unity government, His Majesty also wanted the formation of a strong and formidable government that is inclusive of all races and religions. 

“This allows the government to focus on solving the problems of the people and resuscitating the economy,” he said.

In Saturday’s general election, PH won 76 seats, its member Sarawak DAP collected five, and ally Muda won one, for a total of 82.

PN and PAS won 51 and 22 seats, respectively, for a combined total of 73. 

BN only won 30 seats. – November 23, 2022.

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