Don’t ask me when the next general election is, but work like it’s happening tomorrow, Muhyiddin tells Bersatu

Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin giving his opening speech at Bersatu’s fourth anniversary celebrations in Mitec Kuala Lumpur September 8, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin giving his opening speech at Bersatu’s fourth anniversary celebrations in Mitec Kuala Lumpur September 8, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has told his party and its allies in Perikatan Nasional (PN) to work as if the 15th general election (GE15) is taking place tomorrow.

The prime minister also said this was his most frequently asked question, before jokingly imploring people not to ask him about it anymore.

“Don’t ask me when the GE is. The most important thing is for us to work hard as if the election is being held tomorrow.

“Do you understand my Malay?” he said to the more than 2,000-strong crowd at Bersatu’s fourth anniversary dinner at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) here tonight.

Almost all of the party’s newly elected leaders were present, including deputy president Datuk Ahmad Faizal Azumu; vice-presidents Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee, Datuk Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen and Senator Mohd Radzi Md Jidin; secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin; treasurer-general Datuk Mohamed Salleh Bajuri; Srikandi chief Datuk Seri Rina Harun; and Armada chief senator Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal.

One notable absence was newly appointed supreme council member Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, but his loyalists Zuraida Kamaruddin, Haniza Talha and Dr Daroyah Alwi were in attendance.

During his lighthearted speech, delivered off-the-cuff today, Muhyiddin said that Bersatu, despite its short four-year history, had managed to govern the country well and is set to continue playing an important role in Malaysian politics.

Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) together with Bersatu Supreme council attends Bersatu’s fourth anniversary celebrations at Mitec Kuala Lumpur September 8, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) together with Bersatu Supreme council attends Bersatu’s fourth anniversary celebrations at Mitec Kuala Lumpur September 8, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

He said that together with coalitions such as PN and Muafakat Nasional, Bersatu will do its best to serve the people as it had done with great success throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, to the extent that Malaysia is now recognised as one of the best-managed countries in the world.

“I don’t want to ‘masuk bakul angkat sendiri’ (toot my own horn), but under my leadership and PN’s, we can determine the best for the people’s future.

“That is why we created PN: to be in the same line of politics and to establish the understanding that we need to ensure new politics in the new normal.

“In the same vein, when they asked us to join Muafakat Nasional as Malay-Muslim parties under one political struggle, I accepted without having to think for too long,” he said.

PN is set to face its first real test at the ballot box when the Sabah state election takes place at the end of this month.

However, with nominations only a few days away, a prominent member of the alliance, Sabah’s Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR), has threatened to pull out if they receive less than 15 seats to contest in the election.

Another member, PAS, has asked for 10 out of 73 seats.

Bersatu will also have to field Umno and Barisan Nasional’s demands not just for Sabah seats, but also for the next GE.

Several Umno and PAS leaders have openly called for a snap election in order to “realign” the political order of the country.

Muhyiddin was appointed as the eighth prime minister of Malaysia following a tricky political crisis after his predecessor and former Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned in February, bringing an end to the Pakatan Harapan government.

Dr Mahathir has since formed a new party called Parti Pejuang Tanah Air that also threatens to steal the support of Bersatu’s grassroots members, especially in Johor, Perak and Kedah.

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