Ibrahim Ali admits leaning towards BN

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 (Bernama) -- Pasir Mas independent member of parliament Datuk Ibrahim Ali today admitted being more inclined to supporting the Barisan Nasional leadership.

He also disclosed that his cooperation with PAS forged when be contested the Pasir Mas seat on a PAS ticket in the last general election in 2008 had ended.

"I am an independent MP and willing to cooperate with any quarters. But I am more inclined now to supporting Umno under the present leadership as I am seeing positive signs," he told reporters at the parliament lobby.

However, he said, at the moment there was no urgency for him to rejoin Umno although he observed the party getting stronger under the leadership of its president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

"I am making this stand now as I don't want to be accused of wanting to rejoin Umno because it is becoming strong or that I have a personal or vested interest.

"I also need to protect my integrity dan credibility as the leader of Pertubuhan Peribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa), a non-governmental organisation, besides remaining as an independent MP and not representing any political party," he said.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin said Umno would not bar anyone, including Ibrahim, from returning to Umno.

"One thing I'm happy to see in Umno now is its openness; there's much more tolerance for criticisms and reproach.

"It's different with PAS. When I criticised or commented on their ways or actions, they found it unacceptable that they even asked me to quit my post and called me ungrateful," Ibrahim said.

On his relations with PAS previously, he said: "They had asked for my cooperation, which I gave. But after the last general election, our cooperation was over and I did not join PAS."

MySinchew 2009.10.21