JOHOR BARU, Sept 13 — Johor MIC information chief Deva Sangaran today reminded Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) Permas assemblyman Datuk Seri Che Zakaria Mohd Salleh to focus on his constituency and stop meddling in the state’s politics.
His comments come after Che Zakaria was alleged to be more involved in state politics rather than his duties as the Permas representative.
He said the issue came about following a recent statement by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad that his party, Umno, will only use the Barisan Nasional (BN) logo in the state for the next general election.
“To us, it is relevant. Like it or not, the BN brand featuring the balanced scale symbol is actually synonymous with the people of Johor. This party has been fighting for the fate and interests of the various races in the state for over 75 years.
“So, it is impossible for BN to ride on the popularity of other parties in order to win the next general election. That is the reality,” Deva said in a statement issued here today.
Today was the first time that a Johor BN component party had openly issued a statement against a state Bersatu representative.
On September 10, Che Zakaria reminded Hasni, who is also Johor Umno chief, to cease from triggering a new political conflict by issuing provocative statements that did not respect Bersatu in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
Che Zakaria was reported to have said that Hasni’s statement was inappropriate, immature and provocative in a situation where all parties in the PN coalition had agreed to work together after former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister last month.
This was in response to Hasni’s comment during an interview with Utusan Malaysia where the Benut assemblyman said that he could not accept it if Umno or BN used symbols other than its traditional balanced scale symbol in the coming 15th general election (GE15).
At present, the Johor government, led by Hasni from Umno, currently has 29 state assembly seats while the Opposition state Pakatan Harapan (PH) has 27 seats.
Bersatu, is part of the state government under Hasni in Johor.
Previously, the state government was considered a PN state government but led by Umno who is supporting the coalition nominally.
If a pro-government assemblyman withdraws his support from the ruling coalition, it will see Johor having 28 seats each with PN and PH, effectively suspending the state assembly.