Saturday, August 27, 2022

Muhyiddin kicks off Perikatan convention with prediction that BN will lose GE15 whenever it’s called

Muhyiddin kicks off Perikatan convention with prediction that BN will lose GE15 whenever it’s called

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks during the Perikatan National Convention at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park (MAEPS), Serdang August 27, 2022. — Picture by Devan Manuel

Saturday, 27 Aug 2022 12:55 PM MYT

SERDANG, Aug 27 — Former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today confidently forecasted the defeat of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, its current co-ruler in the federal government, even as Umno leaders clamour for GE15 to be called this year.

The Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman boldly proclaimed that it didn’t matter when the general election will be called, whether this year or next, as the BN will lose the vote.

“I read the statement of the Umno president who is also the chairman of Barisan Nasional. He said the election must be held this year not next year.

“If you wait for next year, Barisan Nasional will probably lose, if this year it will probably also lose,” he said to rousing cheers in his opening speech at the PN convention here this morning.

Muhyiddin said Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s insistence on having early election showed the BN “is not as strong as it claims to be” and reflected Umno’s desperation to save certain leaders within its party.

He did not name them, but this week the Federal Court sent an earlier prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to Kajang Prison to serve his conviction and 12-year sentence for embezzling RM42 million belonging to government investment firm SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Zahid, who is also standing trial for a slew of corruption charges involving a charity he founded, has openly declared his solidarity with the convicted Najib and is scheduled to hold a special briefing with Umno grassroots leaders this afternoon to discuss current issues.

In his speech, Muhyiddin also mocked Zahid for advising Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz on what to do in preparation for the general election.

The Pagoh MP noted that Zahid had been reported telling Tengku Zafrul “to bring sugar while you can” during the latter’s visit to the Kuala Selangor constituency earlier this month.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the difference between the Perikatan Nasional and the Barisan Nasional. I instructed the finance minister to find money to give to people who are in need.

“The chairman of Barisan Nasional directed the finance minister to use whatever is available as long as possible for the benefit of their people,” Muhyiddin said.

Tengku Zafrul, the former head of CIMB Group, was first appointed as finance minister in 2020 during the Muhyiddin administration.He was retained in the same role even after Muhyiddin was replaced as prime minister by Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in August last year.

Muhyiddin, who is also Bersatu president, then reminded Ismail Sabri of an agreement they had before the latter became PM that PN would be consulted before a date is announced for GE15.

“I don't know if the prime minister still remembers the agreement,” he said.

Ismail Sabri has remained mum in the face of Bersatu leaders’ repeated calls for consultation so far.

But Muhyiddin did not seem put off by this and boasted that “despite everything, we are ready to face elections at any time.”

The five-member PN coalition is marking its second anniversary today.

Some 1,300 delegates from Bersatu, PAS, Gerakan and Sabah-based entities Parti Progresif Sabah and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku have gathered at the Malaysia Agro and Exhibition Park here for the coalition convention.

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