Pakatan Harapan leaders have thrown their support behind a possible decision to work with Umno before and after the next general election, saying party members are “pushing” them to do so.
An Umno leader said the party and PKR started toying with the idea of working together late last year but “the talks became serious a month ago.”
“Yes, there are ongoing discussions but nothing has been finalised yet,” he told FMT.
He added that by working together, they may get the majority of MPs behind them. “It is gaining momentum for sure,” he added.
A DAP leader agreed that the majority of party members were keen on joining hands with PKR and even Umno to form the government, adding that most of the party’s state chiefs are in support of the move and are likely to gain greater support during the ongoing party polls.
“DAP’s state polls are ongoing, and we expect all those in favour of working together with Umno and PKR to win,” he told FMT.
He said: “This is how the ground (most DAP members) feels at the moment.”
Yesterday, Nga Kor Ming, one of the leaders willing to work with Umno, retained his Perak DAP chairman’s post after securing the highest number of votes during the state party polls.
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has revealed that informal talks are going on between Umno and his party. He was further quoted in Astro Awani as saying that initial talks between party leaders have seen positive developments.
One PKR MP who declined to be named said there was a “genuine fear” about what the government was doing, from the emergency to the harsh fake news law.
MPs are also getting public feedback about the need for all parties to set aside differences to come together and stop the growing authoritarianism.
“Many MPs from different parties feel the need to unite against the actions of the government.”
Umno Supreme Council member Rahman Dahlan said the party and Barisan Nasional as a whole were open to working with any party.
“Of course, this is subject to the other parties subscribing to Umno’s vision and doesn’t compromise our interests.”
However, he said Umno’s main focus now should be to build its and BN’s strength to face the elections and again become the single largest political force in the country.
“Gone are the days when collaborations happen before elections. Any collaboration is likely to happen after elections, similar to what happens in other countries.
“It is not wise to shut the door (on any party). When we are the biggest party, we can attract a lot of people.
“No one wants to talk to you if you are weak,” he said, adding that he believed Umno and BN would re-emerge as the single largest party post-GE15.
“We’ll see what happens then,” he said.