Strengthening ties: Dr Ahmad Zahid receiving a courtesy call from Swing at his office in Putrajaya.
PUTRAJAYA: The PAS break up with PKR means Barisan Nasional has to rethink its strategies for the 14th General Election, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the break up has created a “new scenario” with the presence of a formidable third force, which cannot be underestimated.
“We respect the decision by PAS. Barisan and Umno feel this is a new political scenario, which to me, is one where PAS clearly wants to be its own party that can stand by itself to face the upcoming general election.
“This situation will surely be carefully analysed by Barisan and it definitely presents a new challenge. We need to figure out the best strategies to handle this new development,” he told a press conference at his office yesterday.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is Umno vice-president, said the development will see plenty of three-cornered fights in the elections.
“Even though it is the more, the merrier, we need new strategies to handle the Opposition,” he said.
PAS made its break-up with PKR official following a decision by the party’s Syura Council.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, received a courtesy call from International Organisation of Migration (IOM) director-general William Lacy Swing earlier.
“The IOM has offered two qualified Malaysians to be attached to the organisation, either at its headquarters in Geneva or in its other offices around the world.
“I will discuss this offer with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister. We feel that this is in recognition of Malaysia’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to migrants,” he said.
He said Malaysia will also consider IOM’s request to upgrade its temporary office in the country to a permanent one.
“In the 70th United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister pledged to take in 3,000 Syrian refugees in the space of three years.
“In just over a year, we have already accepted 3,500 refugees from Syria. They are treated well here and they are not a burden to the Government or country. This is made possible by close cooperation between the Government and NGOs,” he said.