Don’t rush to reject Dr M’s Malay unity offer, Hishammuddin tells Umno while Anwar demurs

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur July 8, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur July 8, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — Umno’s top leaders should not dismissed any chance at political cooperation if it can unite their race, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s open call for all Malay parties to join Bersatu.

The former Umno vice-president urged his party colleagues to give serious consideration for their community’s benefit instead of letting pride get in the way.

“We must not be proud and arrogant because the people are watching us. Not only in Umno and PAS, but also those who had offered us cooperation.

“The invitation was made to the party so the party must make a stance... I was informed that Pakatan Harapan will be meeting later today, therefore I will wait and see what are the stance of PKR and DAP,” the Sembrong MP told reporters at the Parliament lobby here.

The ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition — consisting of Bersatu, PKR, DAP and Amanah — is scheduled to meet at 4pm today.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir invited all Malay-based parties to join Bersatu, saying it would unite the Malays — the country’s largest racial demographic at nearly 70 per cent.

The Bersatu chairman said that he found more and more Malay parties were being formed, which reduces the chance for any one party to win by a significant margin in elections.

Hishammuddin told political leaders that any move to reduce “politicking” should be welcomed.

“But if it will make matters worse, then who will look after the economy and the welfare of the people? 

“At the end of the day, it’s the interest of the public and the country at stake. So any effort to unite and move forward must take that into account. Enough of politicking,” he added.

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim — whose party is currently the largest in Parliament — declined comment when asked to respond to Dr Mahathir’s invitation.

“I think we should give him the avenue, the opportunity to explain to the PH leadership council,” the Port Dickson MP said.

“We haven’t even heard from him I’m just saying in the spirit of the coalition of PH, I think he probably would inform us accordingly,” he added.

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