Anwar dismisses talk of cooperation with Umno

Hidir Reduan and Mohd Noor Aswad

PETALING JAYA: PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has put a lid on whispers that there had been backroom discussions on the party working with Umno.

He made his stand clear that Umno could play a role as an effective opposition.

“I believe that Umno need to be a good opposition ... I have not heard of any collaboration (with Umno).

“There has not been any statement or views from any leaders anywhere on that,” he said.

Anwar believed the rumours must have swirled because he had not taken a hard public stance against the Malay-based party since Barisan Nasional (BN) lost heavily in the 14th general election which flung Putrajaya’s doors open to Pakatan Harapan.

Almost immediately after, talk was rife that there were negotiations ongoing with regards to the possibility of new alliances being formed and that it involved Umno.

The rumours heightened after Umno president Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in May that he was authorised by Umno to negotiate with any parties.

In quashing the rumour, Anwar said: “That was merely a rumour. First of all, I was never aware of it.

“Perhaps it was also because even in my speeches, I am not too hard (on Umno).

“My approach is not to make personal enemies with any political figures in the country. This friendly and peaceful approach may have created this misunderstanding,” Anwar said.

ENDS

Keywords: Anwar Ibrahim, Umno, political cooperation © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd