Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail says Barisan Nasional’s (BN) decision to work with Pakatan Harapan (PH) to form the state government was because the political bloc was ready to cooperate without placing any conditions so that the state government could be established immediately for the sake of stability.
He said Pahang PH chairman Amirudin Shari, who is also the Selangor menteri besar, had contacted him after the results of the 15th general election (GE15) which ended in a hung state assembly in Pahang.
Wan Rosdy, who is also Pahang BN chairman, said he was also contacted by Perikatan Nasional (PN) to discuss the formation of a state government.
However, he said the coalition which was represented by PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had named several conditions.
These included for Wan Rosdy to be made a federal minister as a senator, while the position of menteri besar and state assembly speaker, an equal proportion of state executive council members, and three appointed state assemblymen would be from PN.
Wan Rosdy said PN later offered the position of menteri besar to BN after being informed that PH had not placed any conditions on the formation of the state government.
"I thought about it and saw that this was not a discussion. It had been decided and determined (by PN)... if I agreed to their request, in the Pahang state assembly there are 42 seats. If I agreed, they would have 22 votes in the state assembly which could cause me to fall (as the menteri besar) at any time.
"So what would happen to the state government? We want to establish a state government as we want to continue our agenda to work, continue the stability and prosperity. There are many agendas to be achieved, not just politicking," he said at a talk during the campaign for the Tioman state seat.
For the first time in Pahang, BN and PH shared the stage as Amirudin and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu also joined the programme.
"The decision to be with PH was not my decision alone. I brought it up in discussions with my fellow assemblymen, in the Umno liaison body... I told them what happened, and we assemblymen and Pahang BN unanimously agreed to be with PH," he said.
Meanwhile, Mohamad in his speech reminded electors in the Tioman state constituency to vote for BN candidate Mohd Johari Hussain as PH had decided that its candidate Mohd Fadzli Mohd Ramly would give way to him, taking into account the cooperation between BN and PH at the state and federal levels.
He also said that at the beginning of the collaboration, he was asked by BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan how he would campaign with Umno after 44 years of "bashing" them.
"I don't know how to begin. We in politics can change friends, but we will not change the goals and policies we hold. We will take the opposition's criticism, the people's criticism to build a better country by upholding the constitution," he said.
On the decision to give way to the BN candidate in the election, Mohamad said he had received no resistance from the state leadership regarding the decision.
"So far there is no (opposition to the decision). Complaints are normal. God willing, we can manage it, this is the party's decision. When the decision is made, everyone has to obey. If anyone is not satisfied, I think that is only temporary," he said.
When asked if such cooperation would continue in the state elections to be held in several other states after this, Mohamad said this would be decided when the time came.
The Tioman state seat election will be held on Dec 7, after being postponed following the death of PN candidate Md Yunus Ramli, 61, early on GE15 polling day.
The other candidates in the contest next week are Nor Idayu Hashim of PN, Osman A Bakar (Pejuang) and Sulaiman Bakar (independent).