Muhyiddin says BN can’t stop ex-bureaucrats from batting for PAS
KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today played down PAS’ recent recruitment of key establishment figures to shore up voter support ahead of crucial national polls, saying the choice to bat for the opposition team lay with the retired officials.
“It’s their choice if they want to join the party, we can’t stop them,” the deputy prime minister told reporters today after launching the Barisan Nasional (BN) election machinery at a city stadium today.
“But thank goodness there are not many, most remain confident in BN,” the ruling coalition’s Number 2 (picture) added.
BN’s politicial foe PAS had succeeded in drawing two former senior public servants into its ranks in the last few weeks.
Retired criminal investigations chief Datuk Fauzi Shaari, respected for his strong anti-vice stance, joined PAS in early May while former Land and Cooperatives Development ministry secretary-general Datuk Profesor Dr Nik Zain Nik Yusof handed in his party registration papers in a glittering ceremony in Kedah over the weekend said to have drawn 100,000 supporters.
Muhyiddin, however, dismissed PAS’ “Green Rally to Putrajaya” as a counterfoil to Umno’s recent “red wave” rally in Stadium Bukit Jalil “ saying it was to mask their dwindling support in the northern state.”
“PAS knows their support in Kedah is declining, that’s why they held the rally there, to show that they are still strong,” the Umno deputy president said.
“By mobilising people from all over the country, they think their numbers can signify support in Kedah,” he said and added that the voters would soon realise it was only a “tactic” and return to BN.
PAS has succeeded in revamping its image among non-Muslim voters post Election 2008 with its slogan “PAS for All” and is moving to shore up voter support from among the establishment by recruiting former senior officials.