KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has said that Umno and the remaining components of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition — PKR, DAP and Amanah — could work together under a ‘big tent’ approach, as “agreed upon in April”.
Utusan Malaysia today reported Saifuddin as saying that this could work if Umno fulfills certain prerequisites, such as accepting the ‘reformasi’ agenda and good government practices, as well as respecting the Constitution.
“Even though Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has declared a new political coalition named Perikatan 3.0, PH agrees more with a ‘big tent’ concept.
“It is broader in nature, including cooperation with civil societies and influential individuals,” he reportedly said.
Saiffudin was also quoted as saying there have been specific discussions on the matter between Umno and the relevant parties, as PH has not opened an official channel for that to happen.
He also reportedly rubbished former prime minister Tun Dr Mahahtir Mohamad’s statement that the proposed coalition would not work, as Umno would not be able to accept PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister should they win the next general election.
“That is Tun’s personal opinion and does not represent PH,” he reportedly said.
Saiffudin was also quoted as saying that Anwar is still PH’s prime ministerial candidate and election machinery tactician for the 15th general elections (GE15), and that PKR aims to win back all the seats it had won in GE14 — even the ones it had lost to “traitors”.
Reports of Umno and PH having informal discussions about working together cropped up around March this year as Umno and Bersatu grew increasingly apart.
On Umno’s 75th anniversary — May 11 — Zahid said that a new political alignment, which he dubbed Perikatan 3.0, would eventually replace the current Perikatan Nasional government which he described as “not authentic.”
However, he did not state which exact parties would be in Perikatan 3.0.