Anthony Loke: Possible for DAP to work with Umno

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DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke has not ruled out a collaboration with Umno deeming this as ‘anything is possible in politics’.

He, however, said if there is any collaboration, that would only happen after the next general election.

“I will not rule out anything because what is important is that we (all parties) must be agenda based,” he said in a FMT report adding that DAP was open to working with any party pursuing the same agendas.

Yusof Mat Isa

Loke said collaboration between parties from different divides is more likely to happen since the 2018 general election when the country’s political landscape faced drastic changes, particularly the absence of a single dominant party.

Several examples of such collaborations include ousting of Bersatu’s Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu as Perak menteri besar, and the memorandum of understanding between the Opposition coalition and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

On DAP’s stand regarding the prime minister candidate, Loke said the party was firmly behind Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, though the Seremban MP did not rule out the need for compromise if no party had a clear majority after the 15th general election.

“Of course, the position right now is Anwar as the leader of PH, it’s a natural choice but I think that (the PM candidate) depends very much on the outcome of the next election (GE15).

“If Pakatan Harapan (PH) can win with a clear-cut majority then naturally he (Anwar) will be the PM,” said Loke.

It was reported that last month Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s party, Parti Pejuang Tanahair (Pejuang) closed the door on discussions with PH and Perikatan Nasional (PN), citing the inability to work with their respective leaders, Anwar and Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

When asked about the trial of DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng on whether corruption charges would affect the party’s chances at GE15, Loke said he did not believe it would.

“We do not think that that particular case will damage the party’s image,” he said indicating that the party trusts Lim and is confident of Lim’s integrity.

He also said that the case against Lim was a political conspiracy to end the latter’s career.

“So, we are defending him and the party’s lawyers are doing all they can to defend him in court, so let the court process take place,” said Loke.

Lim is facing an amended charge of using his position as Penang chief minister back then to receive a bribe of RM3.3 million in helping the company owned by Zarul Ahmad to obtain a construction project worth RM6,341,383,702.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office on the 28th floor of Komtar, George Town between January 2011 and August 2017.

For the second amended charge, Lim is alleged to have solicited from Zarul Ahmad 10 per cent of the profit to be gained by the company in appreciation of obtaining the project.

Lim is accused of committing this offence near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City in Kuala Lumpur, in March 2011.

The DAP politician is also facing two other charges of causing two plots of land worth RM208.8 million belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to two companies claimed to be connected to the undersea tunnel project.

He was charged with committing the offences at the Penang Land and Mines Department on the 21st floor of Komtar on February 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017. – MMO