UMNO hopes it can form a unity government with any party within Pakatan Harapan as soon as possible.
Its president, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said even though Umno had not set a time frame on the matter, the party hoped this could be achieved by mutual agreement.
“We are open (to establishing a unity government) before or after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes prime minister.
“Any discussion with any party will not have a set time frame or deadline as any decision must have the agreement of both sides.
“I need to respect the opinions of my colleagues in Umno and Barisan Nasional.
“However, the sooner the better,” he said in an interview with the New Straits Times Press in the run-up to the 2018 Umno annual general assembly at Menara Dato Onn here.
Zahid had been asked whether BN’s boycott of the Port Dickson by-election had to do with Umno’s efforts to forge ties with certain parties within PH, whether Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) or PKR.
Umno’s decision not to contest the by-election had created the perception among certain quarters that it intended to work with PKR to allow an easier path for Anwar to become the country’s eighth prime minister.
However, reports had earlier suggested that Umno was in discussion with PPBM to form a unity government.
Zahid said Umno was open to the possibility of holding discussions with any party.
However, he said the party would not “crawl” on its knees and beg for handouts.
“No, it does not mean that we will beg to meet them, but we have to be dynamic in determining any area where we are of the same mind, if there is any.
“There are methods (to form a unity government) that we have defined through various discussions, but the majority of members don’t want us to become beggars because ‘beggars can’t be choosers’,” he said.