PETALING JAYA: Various Opposition leaders requested to meet Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) after the Johor elections, but he denies this was an attempt to rally support to return as prime minister.

What was discussed in the series of meetings with these leaders was to reach an understanding ahead of the 15th General Election.

“I want to stress here that I had never told or confirmed with anyone that I had garnered majority support from MPs.

That allegation is untrue,” said the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president in a statement yesterday.

On May 29, Parti Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal claimed that Muhyiddin, who is also Perikatan Nasional chairman, had told him he had the backing of 119 MPs in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat.

Shafie also claimed that he discussed the matter with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who he said was agreeable to supporting Muhyiddin.

Muhyiddin described the meetings as unofficial, adding that several leaders from various political parties approached him following the Johor polls in March which saw Barisan Nasional clinching two-thirds majority.

“Many are of the opinion that the best way to take on GE15 is to work out a one-on-one formula to take on Barisan,” he said.

Muhyiddin also said the meetings with political leaders had been approved by the Bersatu political bureau and the supreme council.

In the Johor state election on March 12, Barisan led with 599,753 votes, followed by Perikatan’s 334,457 and Pakatan’s 284,969.

In the Melaka state election last November, Barisan led with 122,741 votes, followed by Pakatan with 114,457 and Perikatan with 77,731 votes.

Elaborating on the one-on-one formula, Muhyiddin said the proposed cooperation or electoral pact does not involve the formation of new political coalitions.

“Bersatu is open to political parties except Barisan in order to achieve a consensus regarding the best formula to take on GE15,” he added.

Shafie’s claims triggered responses from various Barisan leaders, including Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who questioned whether Bersatu and Pakatan Harapan had reneged on their support for the prime minister.

Muhyiddin was appointed prime minister following the fall of the Pakatan Harapan administration after the ‘Sheraton Move’ in February 2020.

After just 17 months in power, Muhyiddin tendered his resignation in August after a group of Umno MPs led by party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi withdrew support for him. Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was subsequently appointed prime minister.