Zahid: No Unity Government

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Umno would no longer talk about the idea for a unity government with other parties, following criticism of the proposal at the Umno general assembly.

Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has backtracked from his own comments about the possibility of Umno forming a unity government with any political party.

At a press conference on Sunday (Sept 30), he dismissed suggestions of trying to form a unity government with a Pakatan Harapan component, saying the matter is “closed as of now”.

He made the terse one line comment when speaking at a news conference after the closing of the Umno General Assembly.

Dr Ahmad Zahid, however, declined to elaborate when asked about the issue which has been opposed by certain quarters, including its youth delegates within Umno.

PAS also had said that it was open to the idea of a unity government alongside with Umno.

The Islamist party deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the idea has been pushed before but did not set a deadline or any formal discussions yet.

However, former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the party’s main job should be to be a good opposition, and not seek any backdoor way into power (via a unity government). Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki and his deputy Shahril Hamdan echoed similar sentiments about the party seeking “backdoor entry” to gain power.

Earlier, Khairy urged Zahid to come out with a clear direction for the party.

“The party leadership cannot keep changing its views on a weekly basis, firstly we want to work together with PH parties and then we attack them the following. This will only lead to confusion, We need a clear direction,” Khairy said after hearing Zahid’s speech on Saturday night.

Zahid had said in his speech that Umno was willing to work with any political party, but it would not allow its principles to be compromised.

Umno and PAS have worked together in the last two by-elections after the 14th General Election.

Reacting to Khairy’s remarks, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan hit out at the Rembau MP for questioning the party’s leadership and its direction.

He said the president’s speech was clear and it envisaged two points, one is to strengthen the party and secondly to come up with a strategy that will help Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) win back power.

In his closing speech just before the president’s, Mohamad told delegates to stop dreaming about a unity government.