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DAP’s sole Malay rep in Johor confident party can work with Umno

Sheikh Omar Ali believes the political realignment will be welcomed by supporters.

2 minute read

A DAP state assemblyman from Johor has expressed confidence that his party can work with Umno to be part of an administration under a political re-alignment, a day after Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar warned Malay leaders against disrupting the government during the pandemic.

Paloh assemblyman Sheikh Omar Ali, one of the few Malay DAP leaders from Johor, is confident that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be ousted in next month’s confidence vote.

He said in the event of a power vacuum, a joining of forces between Umno and DAP was “not impossible” as no single party could be dominant.

“Umno may have dominated for a long time, but everything has changed and this will affect the next general election,” Sheikh Omar, who is also the Johor DAP vice-chairman, told MalaysiaNow.

Sheikh Omar Ali.

Yesterday, Sultan Ibrahim expressed regret that some political leaders were trying to disrupt the government, saying their acts were uncalled for at a time when the people are facing hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now is the time to scramble to help the people, not scramble for power and positions,” he said in a statement addressed to Malay political leaders.

The reminder came as PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and his Umno counterpart Ahmad Zahid Hamidi began submitting statutory declarations to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the hope of toppling the Perikatan Nasional government.

Sheikh Omar’s view is at odds with that of senior party leader Tony Pua, who recently warned that any power vacuum caused by the fall of the PN government would be filled by Umno.

Pua, the Damansara MP, said this would cause the Malay party which had dominated the previous Barisan Nasional government to return stronger at the next polls.

“And when any Umno leader becomes PM, wouldn’t all the kleptocrats be set free (or possibly even regain power)?” Pua asked in an apparent reference to Umno leaders from the so-called “court cluster” who are facing multiple corruption charges.

Yesterday, MalaysiaNow revealed that Zahid had offered to nominate himself as the prime ministerial candidate in the event that Muhyiddin is ousted through the confidence vote in Parliament next month.

A senior party source said Zahid announced the matter to Umno MPs during a closed-door meeting in a bid to convince them that he would not back any leader outside the Malay party in the plan to exit the PN government.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Omar believes that Umno and DAP members will be open to their parties cooperating, despite the matter being considered taboo.

“I think the people and even those who support DAP and Umno can accept a new alignment and explore the possibility of cooperation for the sake of restoring the economy and political stability, and to increase efforts to recover from the pandemic,” he said.