No pact with Pakatan Harapan during Malaysia GE15, considerations changed after election: Ahmad Zahid
UMNO will not compromise on its principles, including the empowerment of Malays and Muslims, says the party president.
KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the rejection of any cooperation with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) was only during the period of the 15th General Election (GE15).
After the election, BN had different considerations, including how the king had decreed that a unity government should be formed given the political impasse, he added.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Nov 29), Ahmad Zahid stated that the cooperation with Pakatan Harapan (PH) did not mean the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has compromised on its principles.
“The continuation of this politics will not remove the identity of UMNO which remains unchanged in the party's establishment objective which is as a vehicle for the progress and empowerment of Malays and Muslims.
“The party will defend its policy to adopt a moderate yet progressive attitude to change,” said Ahmad Zahid, who is also the president of the party.
PKR and DAP are the component parties of PH, led by Mr Anwar Ibrahim while Bersatu is part of Perikatan Nasional (PN), led by Mr Muhyiddin Yassin.
BN is now part of the Anwar-led unity government, which also comprises PH, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) among other partners.
According to Ahmad Zahid, the BN-PH cooperation after GE15 to form the Perak and Pahang state governments are proof of “political maturity and moderation” in the country.
“This new approach will be a pioneer towards a united and harmonious government to ensure that the focus of development (of the nation) may continue,” said the Bagan Datuk member of parliament.
On Monday, after a PH presidential council meeting, Mr Anwar was asked by reporters if he has finalised the selection of his Cabinet members.
“The process for this is that everyone can give their views but they have left it to me to make the final decision,” said the prime minister.
Mr Anwar was also asked if he would take into consideration the views of certain non-governmental organisations to not consider MPs with ongoing court cases in his Cabinet, including Ahmad Zahid.
Mr Anwar replied: “That’s a view we take into consideration. But from a legal perspective, only after there is a judgment (will it matter). The rest, we will consider.”
In his first press conference after being sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister on Nov 24, Mr Anwar said a motion of confidence will be tabled in parliament on Dec 19 to end the question of the legitimacy of his government.
Last Sunday, Ahmad Zahid said the former ruling coalition BN will support the vote of confidence. He said this would ensure that the legitimacy of Mr Anwar's leadership can be finalised and silence those who dispute it.
SEVERAL BN POLITICIANS BACKING AHMAD ZAHID FOR DPM POST
Several UMNO and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) politicians have reportedly backed Ahmad Zahid for the deputy prime minister role.
UMNO supreme council member Mohd Razlan Rafii was quoted as saying by the Star on Saturday said Ahmad Zahid was the best candidate for the post. He pointed out that this was based on hierarchy and the party’s decision.
The treasurer of UMNO’s youth wing Johari Yazid, who also backed Ahmad Zahid for the deputy prime minister post, said that party discipline and hierarchy must be respected, come what may, according to a Malaysiakini report.
PBRS information chief Fredie Sua also said that the post should be given to Ahmad Zahid as BN was a main partner in the government led by Mr Anwar. PBRS is a BN component party.
"As long as the court process is not over, Ahmad Zahid has not been convicted of any wrongdoing and has the right to be appointed as the deputy prime minister based on his position as Barisan's chairman and UMNO president," he was quoted as saying by the Star.
Ahmad Zahid is facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering over the use of funds in a charity foundation linked to him, and a decision is expected in January.