Muhyiddin contemplates Bersatu presidency as party election looms

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is keen but still weighing the possibility of defending his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) presidency amidst the approaching party election, set to take place next year.

The Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman and Pagoh member of parliament said this in the wake of mounting calls for the party top leadership to address its weaknesses ahead of the 16th general election (GE16).

"I am still considering whether to run or not (for the Bersatu presidency during the party polls). I am weighing all options.

"Perhaps, when the time comes, I will step away...

"However, if someone wants to take over, let them do so first," said Muhyiddin in an interview with FMT.

The former prime minister, however, refrained from naming specific individuals wishing to take over the leadership of the party.

"This is how we manage the party, do not let (aspirations for) positions create disunity among us. (Let us avoid) fighting each other at a time when the party has started to receive support from the Malay community," he said.

Muhyiddin, however, acknowledged calls by several Bersatu top leadership, including from Datuk Eddin Syazlee Shith (supreme council member) for the party to address its weaknesses before the next general election.

He also expressed concern that the democratic process of the party would create disunity which he deemed as "tidak molek" (unpleasant).

"Where there is a contest (during the party polls), there will be teams A, B and C... just like what happened in Umno (during party election).

"As of now, such a situation has not happened (in Bersatu). There are avenues and ways, based on the principle of musyawarah (consensus) to ensure that the new line-up of leadership is accepted by everyone in the party.

"We will find a way to ensure a smooth transition of power whenever the time comes," he said, adding that Bersatu has a pool of experienced and capable leaders with skills necessary to assume significant roles within the party or government.

"Some of them have many years of experience who are capable of even assuming the role of TPM (deputy prime minister) but they have yet to be given the opportunity," Muhyiddin added.

The Bersatu party polls were postponed to make way for the Aug 12 state elections and address administrative issues.

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