Wednesday, December 1, 2021

4 opposition MPs, DAP leader break ranks with Anwar over talks with Umno

They say the focus right now should be on strengthening the opposition bloc.

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Several MPs from the opposition bloc today urged Pakatan Harapan (PH) leader Anwar Ibrahim against forming any political alliance with Umno, in the wake of confirmation by the PKR president of preliminary talks between the two parties.

Pulai MP Salahuddin Ayub (Amanah), Sepanggar MP Azis Jamman (Warisan), Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Muda) and Selangau MP Baru Bian (PSB) together with DAP senator Liew Chin Tong said the main focus at the moment should be to strengthen the opposition bloc.

“While Perikatan Nasional has failed to show its commitment (to the country), the opposition bloc should together show the way in developing policies and initiatives that will benefit the people.

“We urge opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to strengthen the opposition bloc and reject any form of cooperation with kleptocrats. Any cooperation with any party should be based on this principle,” they said in a joint statement.

Anwar had said at a press conference yesterday that discussions with Umno were still at an early stage, and that no formal agreement had been made.

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

“I do not deny such a possibility (for cooperation),” he said.

He also said that any cooperation would be based on “common perimeters” such as the status of Islam, Malay rulers and the national language, maintaining however that PKR remains committed to its “comrades” in PH.

In Umno, meanwhile, information chief Shahril Hamdan had pushed back against calls to engage with PH, saying its refusal to work with Bersatu in the next general election should not be seen as acceptance of its other political enemies.

He also said that Umno was still bound by the decision reached at the party’s general assembly in 2019, rejecting cooperation with PKR and DAP.

Other Umno division leaders including the party’s Bandar Tun Razak chief Rizalman Mokhtar and its deputy chief in Putrajaya, Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz, also said they had no interest in forming an alliance with Anwar, reiterating their commitment to the “No Anwar” rule of thumb.

Faisal told MalaysiaNow that only a section of the party leadership was banking on Anwar returning to power.

“Not everyone in Umno thinks this way,” he added.

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