Zahid: Umno now prepared to negotiate with other parties

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno is prepared to negotiate with other parties – to either form a government or an opposition – on condition that this is done together with other Barisan Nasional members.

This is among the earliest decisions which the party’s supreme council made in its first meeting after the general election.

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic), who chaired the meeting, told reporters that the supreme council has given him the mandate to proceed with any negotiations, should there be any.

“But so far, there has been none.

Should there be any, be it to form the government or the opposition, it will have to be en bloc.

“This means that any party which wants to negotiate will have to talk to Barisan as a whole and not just with a single party in the coalition. We want to rise and move forward together with our Barisan friends,” he said.

Dr Ahmad Zahid is assuming the duties of Umno president following last Saturday’s resignation of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the wake of Barisan’s devastating defeat in GE14.

Umno won 54 of the 79 federal seats captured by Barisan. However, this was reduced to 78 seats after acting Upko president Datuk Wil­fred Madius Tangau, who won the Tuaran seat, defected.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said this could be a good time for Umno to strengthen its position by opening up to negotiations.

“However, I must say again that we negotiate en bloc.

“If any party tries to divide or destroy us, the Umno leadership at all levels will unite to fight this,” he said during the press conference.

On another matter, Dr Ahmad Zahid said the fate of the two Barisan assemblymen who supported the formation of the Pakatan state government in Perak would be decided after an investigation by the disciplinary committee.

This is in reference to Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohamed Radzi of Tualang Sekah and Sungai Manik assemblyman Datuk Zainal Fadzi Paharudin.

“The disciplinary committee will look into this. But by right, one cannot be with Umno and yet support other parties apart from Barisan,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid.

Nolee Ashilin and Zainol Fadzi had declared their support for Pa­­katan which led to the formation of the Pakatan government in Perak.

However, the two insisted that they are still with Umno and Barisan.

The GE14 outcome in Perak saw Pakatan clinching 29 seats, Barisan 27 and PAS three.

With the two Barisan assemblymen declaring their support for Pakatan, it gave Pakatan 31 seats, enough to form the state government in the 59-seat state assembly.

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Politics , Umno , Zahid Hamidi