Anwar insists he has ‘adequate’ majority, talks with Umno in initial stage

The PKR president hints at several Umno MPs supportive of collaboration.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today said the party’s rumoured cooperation with Umno remains in the initial stages of discussion and has yet to be formalised.

Anwar hinted there were Umno MPs supportive of the idea of a collaboration.

He was speaking to reporters at a press conference after a meeting with PKR MPs in a hotel in Petaling Jaya.

“Since the Mingguan Malaysia interview last Sunday, there were many questions raised over my discussion with several Umno leaders.

“If we read the entire context, I said it would be premature for us to say we have an agreement or understanding,” Anwar said.

“I said there were initial discussions between several PKR leaders and Umno leaders.

“I was then asked if I denied the possibility of a cooperation with Umno, so I said: I don’t deny the possibility,” said Anwar.

Earlier today, Umno insiders dismissed rumours that the two parties are going to tie formal cooperation soon.

Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan said the party is still holding on to its supreme council’s decision not to work with PKR or DAP.

However, he said it is up to Anwar to claim that his party is negotiating with Umno for political cooperation.

The PKR-Umno rumours came amid Umno severing ties with Bersatu followed by the defections of Tebrau MP Steven Choong, Julau MP Larry Sng and Kuala Langat MP Dr Xavier Jeyakumar to be independent MPs aligned with PN.

Anwar today insisted that any effort by PN to woo opposition MPs would not necessarily guarantee the government achieving its needed majority.

“I would like to state, even by pulling five or six MPs over to PN, they (the government) has yet to secure a majority of 110 MPs.

“That I am very sure of,” said Anwar.

Quizzed on his previous claim of securing a “strong and formidable” majority to form a new government, Anwar today insisted he still has an “adequate number”.

“It is simple mathematics. PN claimed they have 111 or 112. If we take a portion of those who have declared support for me, they are technically left with 100.

“This doesn’t count the other 13, Warisan, Pejuang and Pemuda […] what makes you think if they take three, they can have the majority?” he said.

Anwar also reiterated PKR’s commitment to DAP and Amanah as its partners in Harapan ahead of new political realignments expected before the next 15th general election.

By : ALYA ALHADJRI & RAMIEZA WAHID – MALAYSIAKINI

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