Thursday, March 4, 2021

Annuar moots ‘grand coalition’ beyond Umno, Bersatu and PAS

He says the coalition would be crucial to preparing the country for the post Covid-19 period.

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A Barisan Nasional (BN) leader has proposed a “grand coalition” to unite political affiliations beyond the three Malay-based parties of Umno, Bersatu and PAS, as long as they are not allies with Pakatan Harapan (PH).

BN secretary-general Annuar Musa said such a coalition could comprise more than a dozen political parties including those in Sabah and Sarawak, as well as independent blocs which have not expressed support for PH.

He named Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah, as well as new blocs Muda led by former Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Pejuang led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Others could include Berjasa, the Indian Progressive Front, Makkal Sakti and Parti Cinta Malaysia, he added.

Annuar said such a coalition would be crucial to preparing the country for the post Covid-19 period.

“Most important is that we do away with personality politics and promote politics based on unity that prioritises stability, national endurance and the people’s interest,” the Ketereh MP, also the federal territories minister, said on his Facebook.

His call comes amid threats by several MPs that their blocs will not support the 2021 budget. Any success in shooting down the passing of the budget motion would lead to the collapse of the Perikatan Nasional government, causing snap polls, a scenario that senior health officers have repeatedly warned against.

A unity government made up of MPs across political parties was proposed by Mahathir days after his resignation in February this year.

A similar government was formed in the aftermath of the bloody riots of 1969, when opposition parties Gerakan and PAS accepted an invitation by then prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein to join BN.

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