Pakatan aware of BN's intent to use own symbol for upcoming state polls

PUTRAJAYA: Barisan Nasional's decision to use its own symbol in the upcoming state polls has been made known to its unity government partners, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The Pakatan Harapan secretary-general said the coalition had been informally told about it by Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

"The matter was not informed to us formally but we know about it. We meet in Parliament almost every day and discuss things," he said on Wednesday (March 29).

Saifuddin said Barisan's decision to use its logo in the state polls was within its purview, especially as the unity government does not have its own logo,

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Umno president, had said that all its candidates would use the "dacing" symbol for the elections in six states.

However said that parties in the unity government involved in the state polls would be mobilised as a single machinery.

Elections in six states – Kelantan, Kedah, Terengganu, Selangor, Penang and Negri Sembilan – are expected to be held by the middle of the year.

To another question, Saifuddin said Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) would be invited to attend meetings of the three committees formed under the unity government's secretariat.

He said the matter was discussed during the secretariat meeting on March 19.

On why the party was left out of the meeting, Saifuddin explained the meeting was for founding parties in the unity government.

Members of the secretariat are Pakatan, Barisan, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and Warisan.

Muda had said that they had sent a third letter to Saifuddin requesting the party to be included in the March 19 meeting but there had been no response.

In the first unity government meeting on Feb 7, Muda cried foul after it was not given an invitation.

During a media engagement session, Saifuddin, who is also Home Minister, said that laws and regulations would not be compromised to achieve the ministry's target of processing 10,000 citizenship applications this year.

He said the Federal Constitution is used as a guideline in the process and whatever it stated about citizenship would be followed.

"We will not loosen prerequisites or conditions just to meet our target," he said.

A total of 5,600 applications have been processed over the past four months since he became Home Minister.

Saifuddin also said efforts to detect the whereabouts of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low were still ongoing.

"There is still a Red Notice from Interpol against him," he said, declining to comment on the latest decision by a Kuwaiti court to sentence Jho Low 10 years imprisonment in absentia on money laundering charges.

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