BN has been around for long… the medicine is PN, he says.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, who steered his party to join forces with Bersatu instead of with Umno in BN, disputed claims that this move is unpopular among some grassroots and he went on to tout PN as a coalition of non-extremists.
Recalling the days of the Alliance, which dominated peninsular politics in the early days of independence, Hadi said it had to be replaced by BN due to some shortcomings, such as the 1969 racial riots.
Likewise, he said, BN’s weaknesses started to show after being in power for decades and PN was the antidote.
“When the scale (BN logo) has been around for long, we need a change… the medicine is PN – an alliance of parties that are not extreme and are able to cooperate…
“PAS, Bersatu and Gerakan contest under one symbol to reject extreme parties and to make a change under a new alliance,” Hadi said during an online address by the PN component party leaders for the Malacca polls amid tough restrictions against physical campaigning due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The address was streamed live from Shah Alam in Selangor.
PN comprises PAS, Bersatu, Gerakan, Star and SAPP. The latter two are Sabah-based and are not involved in the Malacca state election.
“Renewal is needed and if Malaccans want change, then choose PN,” added Hadi.
Umno and PAS had in 2019 formed an electoral pact under Muafakat Nasional but the two parties have been driven apart due to Bersatu.
Umno is bent on eliminating Bersatu, the Umno splinter party, and is annoyed with PAS, which has consistently backed Bersatu.
Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin had described that Muafakat Nasional to be nothing more than a name.
Muhyiddin praised for stepping down
Hadi praised Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the PN chairperson, for stepping down as the prime minister, in order to avoid a crisis when Umno moved against Muhyiddin in August.
However, Hadi criticised Umno for again bringing down its own government in Malacca, calling it “immoral”.
The Malacca crisis was sparked on Oct 4 when four assemblypersons, among them one from Umno and another an independent who was formerly from DAP, withdrew support for the state government led by Umno’s Sulaiman Md Ali.
Sulaiman, in an attempt to thwart Umno’s Idris Haron, who led the group of four to form the new government with Pakatan Harapan, sought the dissolution of the state assembly, paving the way to fresh polls.
Also delivering an address during the event was Gerakan president Dominic Lau, who mostly focused his fire on Harapan.
Lau criticised Harapan for supporting the defectors in a failed attempt to take over the Malacca government.
Harapan was elected as the Malacca government in 2018 but was ousted in March, in a similar fashion.
The major coalitions, BN, PN and Harapan, are contesting against one another in all 28 seats in Malacca.
Campaigning began on Nov 8 and Malaccans on their new government will decide on Nov 20.