KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Parti Peribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) will strengthen cooperation with its Islamist ally PAS in Perak where the state government is left rudderless after its deputy president was ousted as mentri besar.
Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin expressed the party’s regret that Umno lawmakers had voted against Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu in a confidence motion in the Perak legislative assembly last Friday, forcing him to resign.
Despite that, Hamzah said the Bersatu supreme council (MPT) met tonight and decided it will continue its current political partnership in Perak through the Perikatan Nasional (PN) alliance for the sake of political stability at both the state and federal levels.
“The MPT unanimously agreed to strengthen cooperation between Bersatu and PAS through Perikatan Nasional in an effort to maintain political stability at the national and state levels.
“All decisions taken by Bersatu related to the establishment of the new Perak state government will take into account the decision with the partners of the Perikatan Nasional, especially PAS, who are directly involved,” he said in a statement tonight.
The statement made no mention of working with Umno, which is not a component party of PN.
Umno also has the lion’s share in the 59-seat Perak assembly. Its assemblymen total 25 compared to Bersatu’s five and PAS’ three.
In its separate supreme council meeting earlier tonight, Umno also said it would maintain its current partnership with PAS and Bersatu in Perak for the continuation of the state PN government.
However, Umno has chosen its Perak chief Datuk Saarani Mohamad to be the next mentri besar.
Bersatu also did not address Saarani’s nomination in its statement tonight.
Political observers had been optimistic of a possible bipartisan government being formed in Perak, especially after the state DAP chapter said it was open to negotiations with its old nemesis.