DAP ready to reach out to Umno – as long as “corrupt” leaders excluded

Anthony Loke – Picture from The Star

THE DAP is willing to sit down at the same table for a discussion with its decades-old rival Umno – as long as it excludes “corrupt” leaders, the party’s organising secretary Anthony Loke said.

The question, however, is whether Umno is willing to do the same.

“More people are saying that one way out (of our political crisis) is for Umno and DAP to come to the same table.

“But this needs political courage and will from both sides. Is Umno prepared to even talk about it?

“For DAP, of course, we are willing to discuss,” Loke said in an interview with television channel Astro Awani last night.

At present, PKR and Umno have engaged in informal talks, according to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also Pakatan Harapan chairperson.

It is believed that the talks mainly involve Umno’s “court cluster” leaders on trial for corruption, such as party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

However, cooperation with this group appeared to be the line in the sand for Anwar’s partners in Harapan – as stressed by Loke in the interview.

‘We will not work with the corrupted’

“DAP has set very clear parameters on cooperation with Umno.

“We will not work with leaders who are corrupted, who have been implicated or committed in courts – to form the government,” Loke said.

These parameters, he said, also include concerns on whether or not Harapan will form a government with “certain Umno leaders” without going through elections.

Likewise, Umno leaders have repeatedly said that they would not cooperate with DAP.

But for Loke, the situation might change after the next general election.

“If the next GE does not create a clear winner, you have to think about how to form new partnerships, new coalition partners and that can only come after GE,” he said.

A DAP-Umno partnership would not be a unique move. Harapan state lawmakers and Umno had joined forces in December last year to oust Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu as Perak menteri besar.

They have since made a confidence and supply agreement with the current Umno-led Perak state government.

In Johor too, the Umno-led state government is treating the opposition – including 14 DAP assemblypersons – as “strategic partners”. – Malaysiakini