Interest rises on identity of fifth party to join Perikatan

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 25 Aug 2020

TANJUNG MALIM: Interest in the identity of the fifth party that will be joining Perikatan Nasional is gaining momentum, even as voters in Slim will go to the polls this Saturday.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali got the ball rolling last Sunday when he said there were five parties in the coalition – Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, PAS, and other component parties from Barisan Nasional, but he stopped short of naming the other parties.

Later that day, Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed that MIC is one of the Barisan parties joining Perikatan.Other than MIC, he said other parties that also registered to become part of Perikatan included Bersatu, PAS and Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (STAR).

“There is no problem so far as Perikatan has to be registered,” he said after mingling with voters at the Indian Progressive Front operations room in Kampung Baru, Slim River, here on Sunday evening.

According to a Barisan source, the fifth party should be Umno because it is the largest party in Barisan, with the most number of leaders in the present Perikatan government.

“However, Ahmad Zahid had earlier announced that Umno would not be joining Perikatan officially if the ruling pact registers as a formal coalition.

“It is only a matter of time for the entire Barisan bloc to be with Perikatan. Otherwise, what is the point of having Perikatan registered?” asked the source, adding that there has been some confusion on the ground.

When contacted, MIC president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran said it was not a problem for MIC to be a part of Perikatan.

“The matter about joining (Perikatan) and the current political scenario as well as concerns have been explained to the Barisan chairman and other component parties in a meeting last month, and it is accepted,” he said.

“Then on the 11th of this month, we had reached a consensus for all Barisan component parties to contest the next general election with the Barisan logo, while PAS will use its own logo.

“I don’t see any issue with that,” he added.

When asked on the confusion over MIC in both Barisan and Perikatan, he reiterated that the party will always be with Barisan through thick and thin, adding that he will issue a statement today on the matter.

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