MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, August 11, 2022

I differ slightly from Loke on cooperating with Umno, says Anwar


PKR president Anwar Ibrahim says DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook has discussed the issue of collaboration extensively with him.

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan chairman Anwar Ibrahim says his position on a possible collaboration with Umno “differs slightly” from that of DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook who said last week that it was now more likely for different parties to work together due to the drastic changes in the Malaysian political scene.

Anwar, the PKR president, said he was not surprised with Loke’s stance.

“He has discussed this issue extensively with me. If you read his statement in the full context, we are entering the election (GE15) to win,” said Anwar after a Perak PKR leadership council (MPN) meeting in Ipoh.

“But in the worst case scenario, these are some of his considerations. My position differs slightly… The issue of who we will negotiate with post-election does not arise.”

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In an interview with FMT last week, Loke was asked whether he saw a future in which DAP and Umno could “join forces”. The Seremban MP replied that “anything was possible in politics”, adding that he “would not rule out anything”.

Loke said that the absence of a single dominant party emerging from the 2018 general election meant that cooperation between parties was more likely.

Describing GE15 as “a major battle” to save the country from “endemic, excessive corruption”, Anwar said it was crucial for Malaysia’s future that voters elect a government that would be accountable and transparent.

Speaking to delegates at last month’s PKR congress, Anwar said he had resisted working with those in Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno who were facing corruption charges.

Stating that he had the chance to lead the country in September 2020 when a majority of MPs signed statutory declarations (SDs) backing him as prime minister, Anwar said he was forced to back down as he was asked to give assurances to key figures in BN and Umno that he would discontinue their court cases.

“I said I cannot do that. I didn’t apologise and I told them ‘Thank you, we will face each other at the next general election’,” he said.

Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan yesterday claimed that Loke’s stance of not ruling out any cooperation with Umno was a “recognition” of the latter’s strength.

He also said it showed that DAP had finally realised that Umno had the strongest grassroots support compared to other parties. - FMT

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