PETALING JAYA: An Umno faction is allegedly paving the way for a "unity government" with ruling parties PKR and DAP.
And the man in the driver’s seat is said to be Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (pic).
This follows the exodus of most of Sabah Umno’s leaders on Wednesday (Dec 12).
Then came the allegation that the defectors are set to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) - a component of the ruling Pakatan Harapan government.
According to a report by The Malaysian Insight, Umno sources revealed that Nazri has been travelling all over Malaysia to hawk the plan to division chiefs.
As the biggest Opposition party, Umno still has 43 seats in parliament, though its numbers are dwindling steadily.
Another Malaysiakini report stated that Nazri has turned to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the Prime Minister-in-waiting, to ensure the survival of his party.
Nazri claimed that efforts to negotiate with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have not gone well, as the Prime Minister wants Umno to be dissolved before any cooperation can be done. This has led members to worry that Umno might be deregistered.
Nazri, who is also Padang Rengas MP, had detailed his alleged discussion with Anwar during a speech to Selangor Umno members on Wednesday night.
"It is nothing new, it is an open secret that most (Umno MPs) want to be part of the government... there is nothing sinister there," he told Malaysiakini.
Nazri had told the members he met Anwar in the second week of the last Parliament sitting with four requests, which Anwar had supposedly agreed to.
Top of the list was for Umno to not be dissolved, to which he claimed Anwar had responded as follows: "Nazri, I will not dissolve Umno. We must be sporting in politics. How can we fight if our opponent is de-registered? We must be gentlemen."
His second request was for Anwar, when he becomes Prime Minister, not to "harass" Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"I told him (Anwar). Whatever wrong he (Najib) has done, charge him. But don't harass him... by imposing bail on him so many times."
Nazri claimed that then Anwar said, "I have gone through this (court charges and imprisonment) for 20 years. I don't want my enemies to suffer that way, what more my friends.
"Najib was my deputy (when I was Umno Youth chief), and (Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad) Zahid (Hamidi) was once my 'macai' (lackey)."
His third request to Anwar was to restore the “ketua kampung” (village chief) system, while the fourth was for Umno MPs to receive the same allocation as government MPs so that Umno can "give to the people".
In exchange for Anwar fulfilling the four requests, Nazri professed that Umno MPs will throw their support behind Anwar when he becomes prime minister in “one and a half years”.
He stressed, however, that the Umno MPs will only be “government-friendly” and not part of the government administration.
"We don't want to be in the Cabinet. It would be difficult for us in the next election if we did," he was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying.
"We want to contest Bersatu (Amanah and Warisan) seats, we want our seats back, so we must fight them. So we can't be ministers with them.
"We would only be a bloc that supports government policies which benefit the people," he said.
Nazri also claimed Anwar told him that with PKR, DAP and Gabungan Parti Sarawak, the latter would have 110 seats in Parliament.
"So he told me, 'I only need two more. If I add you (Nazri), and you find one more guy that's 112, so I'm the prime minister'."
Nazri also averred that Anwar was hinting he did not need Amanah, Bersatu, or Warisan to form the government.
He said Anwar had supposedly told him he will abide by Pakatan Harapan's agreement for him to succeed Dr Mahathir only after two years.
According to Nazri, the conditions set by Dr Mahathir (for cooperation with Umno) were too stiff, hence it was only natural for him to approach Anwar as the future prime minister.
"So what we have to do now, is just to sit and wait (for Anwar to become PM)," he added.
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