Loke says not impossible for DAP to work with Umno, but nothing set in stone yet | Malaysia

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke is not ruling out the possibility of cooperating with other political parties such as Umno. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke is not ruling out the possibility of cooperating with other political parties such as Umno, but said the topic has yet to be discussed within the framework of Pakatan Harapan.

He also said that any potential cooperation will have to depend on the outcome of the 15th general election.

During an interview on the Consider This programme on Astro Awani, Loke said DAP has already set very clear parameters on what the party finds acceptable when it comes to cooperating with Umno.

“Firstly we will not work with any leaders who are corrupt, who are implicated (in corruption) or have been convicted in courts, to form a government,” he told hosts Melisa Idris and Sharaad Kuttan.

Moving forward, however, the Seremban MP said DAP is wholly aware that no single political party in Malaysia can form a government by itself. 

“Whether we like it or not we have to form a coalition in order to form a government. How this new coalition will be formed, will very much depend on the results of the next general election.

“I think that if in the next general election there is no clear winner, then there will be a need to think about forming new partnerships and finding a new coalition to form a stable government,” Loke said.

He was also asked about the feasibility of cooperation between Umno and DAP on a federal level, with the Perak and Johor state governments cited as examples.

Former Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Sahruddin Jamal resigned from office on February 28 last year, mere days after the Pakatan Harapan administration collapsed, and was replaced by Umno’s Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

Similarly former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu resigned from office after losing a vote for a motion of confidence in the state assembly on December 4 last year, which has been attributed to cooperation between Umno and DAP assemblymen in Perak. He was succeeded by Umno’s Datuk Saarani Mohamad as Mentri Besar.

Loke pointed out that in the case of both states, DAP did not form a government with Umno nor was it a part of the state government.

“I think that must be made very clear. In the case of Perak and to a certain extent Johor, there is a confidence and supply agreement, which is a mechanism which we seek to create stability on the state level.

“In this situation we are not part of the state government but we get equal treatment from the government as the Opposition. So I think that can be called a form of cooperation in both states, but one that is not heading towards a coalition,” he said.

Loke also noted that Umno itself has stated its position very clearly, in that they are refusing to work together with either PKR or DAP.

“But that does not mean that in the future, that cannot happen. As I said, currently and going into the very next election, whether or not DAP has a clear position on cooperation, it has not been formally discussed within Pakatan’s framework,” he said.

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