Since PKR is the biggest party, Umno would do well to show a gesture of “goodwill” by not contesting the Port Dickson by-election, he added.
Nazri said PKR was the party that the people wanted in power as evidenced by the past three by-elections, and that he was even willing to “campaign” for Anwar as a symbol of goodwill.
“Fighting Anwar ‘to the death’ is not a form of goodwill. Even if Umno wins the seat, we will still be in the Opposition, nothing will change.
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s argument that Umno should stay out of the Port Dickson by-election and the revelation that this will work in favour of the Malay party’s efforts to return to federal power raises important questions as to who it plans to work with to achieve this goal.
Nazri had said it would be unwise for Umno to sour ties with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PKR by contesting the seat, as the party is currently the biggest party in the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
He revealed that Umno running in Port Dickson would also ruin a purported plan by Umno MPs to try and get back into government by forming an alliance with any party capable of getting them there.
Nazri said that the “majority of Umno MPs” had signed a statutory declaration (SD) empowering party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to negotiate with other political parties outside of BN, including PH parties and PAS, to once again assume federal power.
But when asked to comment on Nazri’s remarks, Umno MPs remained tight-lipped and chose neither to confirm nor deny their colleague’s claims.
“I cannot comment on this. These things are not meant to be shared with the public. It is up to the leadership to decide what’s best for the party,” Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa told Malay Mail when asked to comment on the SDs purportedly signed by Umno MPs.
Umno’s Pontian MP Datuk Ahmad Maslan echoed Annuar’s remarks.
“Nazri is famous. He can say these things, but I take my orders from the leadership. I cannot comment on the SDs.
“But I feel that Umno should convene a leadership meeting as soon as possible and decide whether or not to contest the Port Dickson seat, just like PAS did… they decided and with that, the debate for them ended there,” he said.
Putrajaya MP Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor declined to comment.
Others, including Zahid himself and Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan, have yet to respond to Malay Mail’s queries.