Salahuddin: Pakatan is still Johor Opposition, but ties with Barisan are good

JOHOR BAHRU: Pakatan Harapan is still playing the role of the opposition in Johor as there was no discussion regarding the form of cooperation with Barisan Nasional in the state so far.

Johor Pakatan chairman Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub (pic) however said the relationship between the two parties is very good in the spirit of unity.

“The last time when I was in the State Legislative Assembly during the Menteri Besar’s winding up of the 2023 Budget at the Johor State Assembly sitting (December last year), we were still seated in the opposition side.

“There has not been any decision in Johor, but between us, we understand the underlying spirit of the government unity. The relationship is also very good, but we cannot determine the form of cooperation in the future,” he told reporters after a feast for Pulai MP personnel on Saturday (Jan 8) night.

He was commenting on the relationship and form of collaboration between Pakatan and Barisan in Johor.

In the Johor state election held in March last year, Barisan won comfortably with more than two-thirds majority when it managed to secure 40 of the 56 state assembly seats contested.

In the state election, Pakatan won 11 seats, followed by Perikatan Nasional (three), besides Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Ikatan Demokratik Malaysia (MUDA) with one seat each.

Asked about the caucus involving 24 Johor Barisan and Pakatan MPs, Salahuddin who is also the Pulai MP explained that the matter is still under discussion.

“On the caucus, it is still under discussion and Opposition Leader Andrew Chen Kah Eng (who replaced Liew Chin Tong) is working on that,” he said.

On Dec 4 last year, it was reported that Liew, who was then Leader of the Opposition before being replaced by Andrew when debating the 2023 Budget, suggested to Johor Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad that a Johor Members of Parliament Caucus should be formed involving 24 Barisan and Pakatan Members of Parliament.

Hasni was then reported as saying that the establishment of the caucus was able to drive the development of Johor to become a developed state.

On Dec 11 last year, Johor MB Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi was reported to be hoping for the caucus to fight for the state’s priority projects involving allocations from the federal government