Thursday, July 22, 2021

DAP must accept working with Umno, says Anwar loyalist

Abdullah Sani says cooperation with the Malay party would be in the interest of the people.

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A loyalist of Anwar Ibrahim says DAP must be able to accept that only a merger with Umno can defeat the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government in the next election, just days after the PKR leader urged party members to be open-minded in forging political cooperation.

Abdullah Sani, the Kapar MP who is part of the PKR Central Leadership Council, said any merger with Umno would be in the interest of the people, whom he said were the victims of “a government that failed to manage the Covid-19 issue”.

“Of course it hasn’t been discussed, but DAP has to accept it,” Abdullah told Utusan Malaysia in its weekend edition.

“If we consider what happened in Perak, when we could cooperate with Umno, why can’t we continue the cooperation to win the general election?” he asked.

Abdullah was responding to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition had never discussed political cooperation between PKR and Umno.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had earlier said that PH could work with Umno on a number of issues.

He said PH had agreed to adopt the so-called “big tent” concept, under which PH was willing to “accommodate elements outside” the coalition if it comes to power.

Saifuddin said that at the last general election, the three parties in PH – PKR, DAP and Amanah – had won 101 seats including two independent seats, 11 seats short of forming a simple majority.

But Lim said PKR’s stand did not represent that of PH. He said the “big tent” concept was to bring together all opposition parties and ruling MPs to oppose Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and end the state of emergency, not for the purpose of contesting the election.

Since falling from power, PKR leaders have been promoting the idea of working with Umno, in the wake of efforts by its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former prime minister Najib Razak to topple Muhyiddin.

In October, MalaysiaNow revealed a joint letter by Zahid and Najib to the palace, in support of Anwar’s bid for the top post.

And just after the Umno general assembly this year, Zahid was embroiled in controversy following the revelation of a telephone conversation he had with Anwar, where he was heard being congratulated by the PKR leader for getting Umno delegates to support a motion to revoke support for PN.

Abdullah said while there had yet to be any discussion on a new political alignment, there was already an idea of what needs to be done from now on.

“That is actually the strength of the new alignment that we want. We welcome anyone who wants to work with us, not only Umno, but other parties as well,” he said.

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