By John Isaac
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said there have been informal discussions between his party and Umno over possible cooperation for the 15th general election.
Anwar has now announced that he will hold a press conference today at 4.30pm at the Eastin Hotel, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, where he is expected to address the issue.
He is also expected to field questions on the spate of defections that have hit PKR lately.
A party source confirmed with Malaysiakini that informal talks between the two parties had been held.
It is understood that both parties are unhappy with the Bersatu party of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin which has accepted a significant number of defecting MPs from Umno and PKR.
In an interview with Utusan Malaysia recently, Anwar said this PKR-Umno cooperation is intended to save the country from destruction.
He stressed that a series of unofficial meetings held between the two parties were “positive” and if the two manage to reach a mutual understanding, it would be on sound principles.
Anwar said the objective of the cooperation was to form a new government where the idea revolved around having an economic policy that focuses on the people.
He lauded several Umno leaders who stood firm on rescuing the national economy and rejecting the PN government. Anwar did not reveal the names of these Umno leaders.
“I had been with Umno for years, why? Because I was confident with the idealism. So if we put this idealism on the track, I think there will be no problem,” he said.
Mohd Hasan unaware of such meetings
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, meanwhile, said he was unaware of such meetings.
“That (the meetings), I don’t know. I wasn’t there and I don’t know,” he briefly told the media in Alor Gajah yesterday.
Mohamad was met after a closed-door meeting with the Malacca Umno leadership, which was also attended by party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Speculations on PKR-Umno cooperation are not new. In January, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who was just sacked as the BN secretary-general, claimed that Zahid had in “black and white” supported Anwar in a bid to topple the PN government.
Besides that, Annuar had also accused Zahid of consorting with the DAP in a bid to form a new political alignment.
Early this month, DAP, which is PKR’s ally in Pakatan Harapan, had stressed that there would be no cooperation between the party and Umno.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the party is consistent with its stand, but it is ready to cooperate with Umno if it is to benefit the people.
“As long as it benefits the people, we are willing to support. For a specific purpose in relation to the people’s interest,” Lim said.