Barisan Nasional says they are ready to remain in opposition & not be part of M'sia's next govt

They also said Perikatan should work with Pakatan.

Kayla Wong | November 22, 2022, 12:14 PM

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Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan said the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, led by Umno, has no power to form the federal government as the people have rejected them in Malaysia's 15th general election on Nov. 19, The Edge Markets reported.

In a Monday (Nov. 21) Facebook post, Mohamad, also known as Tok Mat, said that BN is "prepared to play the role of an effective opposition to ensure there is check and balance", adding that they are ready to contribute to "open and sincere talks" if their help is needed in the post-election period.

Previously, Shahril Hamdan, Umno's information chief who resigned on Nov. 20, said BN should remain as the opposition and work on rebuilding the coalition, instead of joining either Perikatan Nasional (PN) or Pakatan Harapan (PH) in forming the next government, New Straits Times reported.

Caretaker PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob later confirmed that BN will not be joining any of the two coalitions, and will remain as the opposition.

Said PN and PH should work together

Mohamad also said the PN and PH coalitions should work together and form the government as they have obtained more seats than BN.

The two coalitions have won 73 and 82 seats respectively. With the numbers falling short of the 112 that is necessary for either of them to achieve a simple majority in parliament, they have since scrambled to form alliances in order to cobble together the country's federal government.

When they failed to submit their coalition numbers in time by 2pm on Nov. 21, the deadline was extended by Malaysia's king by 24 hours to 2pm the next day.

PN, however, has made it clear that they will not only work with parties aligned with their values, especially those in Sabah and Sarawak, and that the new government will not include PH.

Potential kingmaker says leave it to the king

Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), the coalition in Borneo's Sarawak state, which is also a potential kingmaker that holds 23 seats, has indicated that they will wait for the political wrangling between the various coalitions to be over first before making a final decision on which coalition to join, The Star reported.

GPS chairman Johari Openg has previously said that the coalition is ready to ally with PN and BN. If they do end up forming a coalition, the number of seats combined will be 131, more than the simple majority needed to form a government.

In a statement issued today (Nov. 22), however, they said they will leave it to Malaysia's king to decide who should be the next prime minister, according to Malaysiakini.

This appears to be a shift in tone, as their statement failed to mention Muhyiddin Yassin, PN's prime minister candidate.

Top image by Afif Abd Halim/NurPhoto via Getty Images