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KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not discount the possibility of an Umno-DAP team in Malaysia’s multiracial political landscape, despite views that both parties hold disparate ideologies.
The two-time former prime minister told reporters after a dialogue with a civil society group on Finas here today that it is not necessary to “like” a party in order to cooperate with it.
“I have worked with DAP... the DAP sometimes is extreme, but we can work with them.
“So, even if you don’t like them, still have to accept that all governments in Malaysia are multiracial,” he was quoted saying by Malaysiakini.
He was responding to Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s reported remarks in Free Malaysia Today that the Malay nationalist party could work with the Chinese-dominant DAP if the latter were more moderate.
Dr Mahathir, who is the Langkawi MP, pointed out that Malaysia is a plural nation and as such, no one race can rule the country.
The 95-year-old once helmed Umno and the Barisan Nasional government for 22 years before switching to the Pakatan Harapan coalition of which DAP is a component, and returned to power in his later years.
“Umno has been working with MCA, which was at one time quite extreme.
“It is up to Umno,” Dr Mahathir was quoted saying by another news portal, The Malaysian Insight.
Umno formalised its dissociation with Bersatu and the Perikatan Nasional ruling coalition at the party’s 75th annual assembly last week, but its president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also told delegates that the party is open to forming new partnerships after the next general election, widely expected to be called this year after the Emergency is lifted in August.