KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak indicated tonight that his party may cooperate with its political adversaries for the next general election, citing political dynamics.
However, the Pekan MP added that any decision made must have the collective mandate of not just Umno leaders but the party’s grassroots members as well.
“Because the current political situation is dynamic, it’s always changing.
“In this context, we will look at all options on one condition — must be accepted by the leaders and grassroots members of Umno,” he said in an interview on Astro Awani.
Najib cited the example of his political nemeses, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who set aside their own differences to go ensure the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition would go toe to toe against the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in the 2018 general election and won.
“If we look at the PH situation, nobody thought that Anwar and Mahathir can work together in a political coalition to bring down BN. But it happened,” Najib said.
He added that anything can happen when it comes to politics. However, he stopped short of naming the parties which he thought cooperation is possible.
He appears to be making a full 180° from his stand earlier this year when he confidently said that Umno will not work with political rival DAP, claiming the majority of the Malay party’s grassroots members were against the idea.
Some DAP leaders on the other hand, have shown their willingness to work with Umno politically if it will enable a stable government, after two states — Perak and Johor — were rocked by leadership crises late last year.
However, other new political entities that have since emerged, including Pejuang the latest Malay entity founded by Dr Mahathir, has expressly rejected any cooperation with Umno,
The yet-to-be-registered Pejuang’s pro-tem president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said last December 29 to count his party out of a “grand coalition” if it includes working together with rivals MPs facing trials and criminal charges.