GEORGE TOWN: Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin has dismissed claims that Johor was an Umno stronghold, claiming that Perikatan Nasional would win in the coming polls.
He said in the last general election, Umno fared poorly by only winning 15 state seats and only managed to form a state government with the help of Bersatu.
“The reality is, even at the federal level, Umno lost in the last general election. If it were not because of our help, they would have lost.
“If someone were to tell me that Johor is an Umno stronghold, I say ‘podah’ (get lost in Tamil),” Muhyiddin, who is also the Perikatan Nasional chairman, said at a ceramah tonight.
He said the coalition must ensure that Umno registers a bigger loss in the March 12 polls.
Muhyiddin also expressed regret that an election had been triggered when the state assembly was “stable” and was able to garner bipartisan support for constitutional amendments.
“Why do we need the Johor polls now when the opposition can support and give two-thirds support for any constitutional amendments?”
He said despite Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob not wanting state polls, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had pushed the menteri besar into calling for the polls.
“We at Perikatan Nasional supported the menteri besar. Without PN, Umno could not have formed the state government.
“But he (menteri besar) never even told me about his plans to dissolve the assembly. Who did this? Zahid Komedi,” he said.
Muhyiddin also went on to recall the times when Zahid, along with former prime minister Najib Razak, had pleaded with him to help in their corruption cases. He said he declined to heed their requests as he did not want to interfere in the judiciary as a matter of principle.
In his ceramah, Muhyiddin highlighted the successes during his premiership —handling the crises brought by waves of Covid-19, procuring vaccines, building a Covid hospital in a week at MAEPS Serdang, and also personally writing off RM8.3 billion in Felda settlers’ loans.
He said thanks to his diplomacy with India, punitive duties on Malaysian crude palm oil were removed, raising the commodity’s prices to historic highs. This translated to better revenue for Felda settlers.
Muhyiddin said he would not be defending his Gambir state seat but will offer himself as state economic adviser if Perikatan Nasional wins.
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