KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday (Jul 25) took aim at the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) for refusing to work with the Chinese-majority Democratic Action Party (DAP), calling its decision racist.
This came after UMNO’s president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reportedly said on Wednesday that his party and its new ally Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) will be rejecting DAP completely and will not work with anyone who has ties with it.
According to a report by the Star, Mr Anwar said instead of condemning DAP generally, Mr Zahid must pinpoint exactly what are the points of disagreement.
"It is a clearly racist argument and you should be able to work (with anyone),” he said.
"To me, to meet (the goals of) the country, you must be able to work with any Malaysian or any political party which shares the same principles and ideals.”
He added: "They (UMNO) must be specific. They disagree with DAP on what?”
"They cannot just generalise and condemn the party ... I have worked with DAP, and I have no problem with that."
PKR and DAP are the largest parties in the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, accounting for more than 90 federal parliamentary seats between them.
On Wednesday, UMNO said it will sign a political pact with PAS. Mr Zahid added that both parties have agreed to reject DAP completely, as well as anyone who had any dealings with the Chinese-majority party.
“The (UMNO) president has the mandate to cooperate with any party – as long as that party is not in cahoots with DAP in any way. We say no to DAP 100 per cent,” he stated.
He noted that the "Malaysian Malaysia" concept championed by DAP rejects racial supremacy and erodes Malay rights and privileges accorded by the Federal Constitution.
In March, UMNO and PAS announced formal political ties but denied they had formed a coalition.