Sarawak ruling party to pull out of BN

07 Jun 2018 / 12:53 H.

    PETALING JAYA: Sarawak's ruling party is set to pull out of Barisan Nasional, crippling the coalition's hope of returning to federal power.
    Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu's (PBB) withdrawal from BN will take place despite a last-minute plea by the coalition's acting chief, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, The Malaysian Insight reported today.
    The dominant Sarawak party has 13 parliamentary seats and has been a powerful vote bank for BN. PBB is BN's second-largest component.
    Its withdrawal from BN is set to cause other Sarawak parties to leave BN and possibly trigger an exodus of Umno/BN politicians.
    PBB president Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg had, on May 31, informed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad about the decision to leave BN, the news portal reported.
    It quoted sources as saying Sarawak would support the Pakatan Harapan government in "matters of Sarawak interests, and in the interest of Malaysia as a whole".
    Abang Johari, who is Sarawak Chief Minister, was said to have met BN's acting chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after his meeting with Mahathir.
    According to the report, Zahid used the word "hancur" to describe the coalition's desperation if it were to lose its 19 federal lawmakers in Sarawak.
    "Zahid told Abang Jo that BN would be destroyed if PBB left," said the source.
    Abang Johari was reported to have said it was PBB that could be destroyed in the 2021 state polls if it did not distance itself from BN’s excesses and corruption.
    The ruling Sarawak ruling coalition headed by PBB was said to have a Plan B in place ahead of the 14th General Election which saw the fall of BN after six decades in power.
    Abang Johari had, on May 16, revealed that the state BN was reviewing its position in the pact after GE14, and floated the idea of forming a coalition of Sarawak-based parties.
    The decision to leave BN, however, will be firmed up only after PBB has consulted the three other Sarawak-based BN parties, namely Parti Rakyat Sarawak, Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) and Progressive Development Party, Insight reported.
    SUPP reportedly made the decision to abandon BN in its central working committee meeting on the night of May 15, but has yet to make this public.

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