Was BN consulted before Zahid’s Umno-PAS merger call? Kit Siang asks

Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang attend an ICERD protest in Kampung Gajah, Perak November 17, 2018. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang attend an ICERD protest in Kampung Gajah, Perak November 17, 2018. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang asked today whether Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi consulted Barisan Nasional (BN) before again proposing a so-called merger between his party Umno and PAS.

The Iskandar Puteri MP also said the remark proved that Zahid has lost confidence in his own party, and his proposal to merge with PAS was a “desperate cry” in order to keep Umno alive.

“Zahid’s proposal is extraordinary, for in the normal course of events, any proposal for a merger would come from the smaller party, but here, the bigger party Umno is suggesting a merger with a smaller party.

“Although the number of Umno parliamentary seats has been reduced from 54 to 48 seats, Zahid has clearly lost confidence in his ability to restore government power to Umno unless he makes the overture of a merger between Umno and PAS.

In the 14th general election, Umno won 54 federal seats to PAS’ 18.

Lim also questioned if the Bagan Datuk MP had received the mandate from the Umno supreme council, as well as its lawmakers and various wings before making the proposal.

“Or did Zahid unilaterally and without extensive discussion with other Umno and BN leaders make the proposal for a merger between Umno and PAS last night?” he asked.

Zahid reportedly made the call when he shared the stage with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in Perak last night, protesting the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).