KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 16 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed yesterday that the defeated Malay nationalist party is planning to eventually form a new opposition coalition with former rivals PAS for the next general election.
The Star reported Zahid as saying the Umno-PAS coalition should work together on common interest issues including Malay rights and Islam.
“A working committee is needed to study all aspects before the two of us can create a long-term relationship for the 15th general election,” he told the media after attending the 64th PAS Muktamar, or annual congress, in Terengganu yesterday.
Zahid also extended an invite to the leadership of the Islamist party to attend Umno’s annual general assembly, set to take place at the end of this month.
Fellow Barisan Nasional (BN) component party MIC’s leaders were also in attendance, with its deputy president Datuk Seri SK Devamany said the party leadership has agreed to work with PAS.
“We are willing to work with anyone for the sake of development, wealth-sharing and political cooperation,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile Mingguan Malaysia reported PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang refusing to rule out the possibility of Pakatan Harapan (PH) parties joining that coalition with Umno.
He envisioned changes in the new coalition, which could be joined by Umno along with other parties albeit no longer under the BN name.
“I feel political changes will occur be it the government or the Opposition, we will see when the time comes.
“PH itself is fragmenting, one party is already breaking up. The new coalition is not just limited to the Opposition, and there could be parties in the government joining the Opposition,” Hadi said after officiating PAS’ non-Muslim wing’s congress.