Amanah deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub (centre) breaks fast with members of the media at KSL Hotel and Resort in Johor Baru April 21, 2022. — Picture by Ben Tan
JOHOR BARU, April 21 – Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub urged the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership to be open to holding discussions with all Opposition bloc parties, including those within Perikatan Nasional (PN), ahead of the 15th general election (GE15).
He said such a move in the “big tent” initiative is important to ensure that all parties within the Opposition bloc can be united in tackling Barisan Nasional (BN) as well as its lynchpin party Umno in the coming polls.
“To me, the discussions can take place either formally or informally as part of the ‘big tent’ initiative that was a resolution decided by the PH Presidential Council in Port Dickson in April last year.
“This discussion can also include PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) so as to keep the discussions open to all interested parties.
“It doesn’t mean that we can’t hold discussions due to our past differences, as Opposition leaders in particular need to focus on unity,” said Salahuddin to reporters after a breaking fast event at the KSL Hotel and Resort here last night.
The Pulai MP added that he was aware that there were various statements made by other leaders of PH component parties touching on cooperation with “traitors” from PN.
“As a politician, I am a believer that anything is possible. We should not give up quickly and have an open mind to discussions with all parties. I believe we still have time to work together.
“Although we failed to have any form of cooperation (with PN) in the previous three state elections, that does not mean we cannot implement it for the next general election,” he said.
Salahuddin added that his party believes that the Opposition has a good chance of defeating BN in a two-way contest.
“This can be seen in the recently concluded Johor state election. Based on statistics, if all Opposition parties had cooperated, BN and Umno would only have won 23 out of a total 56 state assembly seats.
“So, let us all (Opposition bloc) work together and restore the people’s confidence ahead of the next general election, which is expected soon,” he said.
In recent weeks, several PH component party leaders expressed their reluctance to involve either Bersatu or PAS in the “big tent” approach, including Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.