UMNO is not divided but there are differences of opinion among its leadership, said Najib Razak.
The former Umno president said whatever the difference of opinion among its top leadership, the party will make a stand when the time comes.
“Possibly, there are differences but I don’t think it is right to use the term divided. There are groups within the party with differing views.
“But as a party which will make free and democratic decisions, it will make the right decision when the time comes,” said the Pekan MP and division chief during an exclusive with Astro Awani tonight.
The meeting had decided to reject working with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the next general election.
Party sources told media groups it had also rejected Bersatu’s offer of a deputy prime minister’s post.
Umno had met at its training centre in Janda Baik, Pahang following Bersatu’s ultimatum to the party recently.
Various sources told The Malaysian Insight that Bersatu wanted Umno to decide whether it will be with PN ahead of GE15.
Najib said the party has never been in its current position in its history where it is not leading the government.
The lynchpin Barisan Nasional party lost the 2018 general election but has returned to power after the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government last year.
The party has joined the federal government but the coalition is not part of the newly formed PN coalition.
He said the current arrangement may have triggered the differing opinion among the leadership
“This is a challenging time for Umno. We had never been in opposition or been part of a government where absolute power is not with us.
“It has sparked a variety of views which has created differing thoughts.
“But when the time comes, Umno will unite and will do the right thing ahead of the coming general election,” he said.
On the changing political dynamic in the country, Najib said the party is willing to work with anyone including its political nemesis.
However, Najib did not name any of the opposition parties during the interview.
“Look at PH, who would have thought Dr Mahathir would be with Anwar Ibrahim, let alone sit at the same table with DAP. We never thought this was possible,” he said
However, Najib said any move to work with opposition parties can only happen if the party’s grassroots endorsed it.
“Whatever we do must be accepted by the party’s grassroots and the divisions.
“I don’t see why we should not be open about working with anyone but it must be with the condition that the grassroots and leadership accept it,” he said. – THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
BN open to working with adversaries but only with members’ support, says Najib
PETALING JAYA: Politics is the art of the possible and there are no reasons why Barisan Nasional would not cooperate with its adversaries, says Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The Barisan Nasional advisory council chairman, however, said the formation of such alliances must be subject to the approval of coalition members.
“The political situation is dynamic and it’s always changing. Look at Pakatan Harapan, who would have thought Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would end up in an alliance to topple Barisan.
“Dr Mahathir and DAP can sit in the same table, and he (Dr Mahathir) can appoint DAP leaders for important positions. It was unfathomable but it happened.
“In my context, I say we look at all options with a condition – that it (working with adversaries) must be accepted by leaders and members of Umno, especially the grassroots,” he said during an interview with Astro Awani on Monday (Feb 22).
“Any new alliances must be accepted by the coalition’s leaders and members.
“A new political alliance built not based on trust will eventually collapse due to the lack of foundation,” added the former premier.
A similar sentiment was also echoed by Umno president and Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in an interview with a news portal on Sunday (Feb 21) that a new political alignment was possible if the Muafakat Nasional alliance collapses before GE15.
On Friday (Feb 20), Umno held a supreme council meeting in Janda Baik, Pahang, where it is believed to deliberate on an ultimatum by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin whether Barisan would contest GE15 as part of Perikatan Nasional. ANN
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT / ANN