Friday, April 23, 2021

Anwar plays down talks with Umno, assures no more jumping from PKR

He says only 'initial discussions' have been held, with no formal agreements made.

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PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim today played down his recent admission that his party had been in talks with Umno to forge an alliance, saying discussions are still at an early stage.

“We are in the midst of initial discussions,” he said, adding that it was his right to enter into discussions with anyone.

“I had negotiated with Dr Mahathir before,” he told reporters at a press conference, on the back of intense speculation that PKR and Umno are in talks to forge cooperation at the next polls.

“I do not deny such a possibility (for cooperation). But please don’t speculate that there is an understanding reached,” he said.

He said any cooperation will be based on “common perimeters”, such as on the status of Islam, Malay rulers and the national language.

“We are not going to compromise on the principles and values that we have adopted,” he said.

“If they are agreeable, they are welcome.”

But he said PKR remains committed to its “comrades” in Pakatan Harapan.

‘No more jumping’

He also rejected speculation that more MPs would be quitting his party following the recent move by three MPs to declare themselves as independents friendly to the ruling bloc.

“Now they have three. Even if they get six, it is not enough to achieve a majority,” he said, referring to the PKR MPs from Kuala Langat, Tebrau and Julau who recently quit the party.

Anwar said he had just attended a virtual meeting with PKR’s 35 MPs, adding that all of them had given their commitment to remain in the party.

He also insisted that the Perikatan Nasional bloc has lost the majority to rule.

The opposition leader also repeated claims that government agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) were being used as a weapon to blackmail politicians into crossing over.

“If they jump, the probe will be closed. If not, you will continue to be tortured,” he said at the press conference in Petaling Jaya.

He said he had also requested a meeting with MACC chief Azam Baki on the matter.

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