JOHOR BARU: Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin believes it is the right time for Barisan Nasional to keep their distance from Perikatan Nasional.
He said this in the wake of three former PKR elected representatives announcing their support to the Perikatan government.
He claimed this strategy was only to delay a collapse of the Perikatan government and not to strengthen them.
The former Johor mentri besar said that a party's political strength could only be gained by hard work and the people's belief in its values and struggles.
"Maybe Perikatan has forgotten that Malaysia and its rakyat have changed and voters are much more sophisticated," he said in a statement on Sunday (March 14).
"Barisan was once more stable and powerful than Perikatan at present but it was still defeated and I do not need to explain the reasons why," he said.
He added that Perikatan was now an alliance with support from certain individuals who only wanted to save themselves.
"Perikatan will be burdened with the problems of all these individuals and it is right for Barisan to step away from this," he said.
Meanwhile, Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the rakyat would be concerned when politicians switch alliances.
He also said party-hopping was a "pattern" that occurred seasonally in times of political crisis.
"Business groups and foreign investors could also perceive this negatively," he said in a press conference on Sunday (March 14).
When asked if anti-party hopping laws were needed, he said it was not as "it was up to politicians if they wanted to switch or remain in the same party."
On Saturday, former PKR vice president and Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar dropped a bombshell when he quit the party.
He said he would be supporting the Perikatan government while serving his constituents as an independent MP.
On Feb 27, PKR's Julau MP Larry Sng and Tebrau MP Steven Choong had announced they had left their party to become independent MPs friendly to Perikatan.
On Saturday (March 14), Datuk Seri Azmin Ali tweeted a cryptic message that fuelled further speculation that more Opposition MPs were likely to leave their parties.
"1+1+1+....and so on. Alhamdulillah. Stay calm," he posted on Twitter.