Shahrir: History shows DAP can’t work with conservatives

Accepting secularist ideals would cause a lot of resistance, says the Umno veteran.

Umno veteran Shahrir Abdul Samad said it was impossible for his party to form an alliance with DAP because of the latter’s secularist tendencies.

At a forum today, Shahrir said DAP had an unsuccessful track record when it attempted to collaborate with conservatives such as Bersatu and PAS in the past.

“The conservatives (in Pakatan Harapan) were Bersatu. These conservatives were all former Umno members. They cannot sit together with secularists. Hence (Harapan) broke apart,” he said.

However, Shahrir conceded there will be times when conservatives will have to work together with secularists to achieve common goals.

A balance between the needs of both ideologies, he said, will help bring the country forward.

“There might be accommodation and cooperation for the good of the people and the country… But to accept secularist ideals, that would cause a lot of resistance,” he said.

As for the upcoming 15th general election, he predicted that conservatives will return to power because they currently control eight state governments – sans Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Sarawak, and Sabah.

Shahrir was speaking at a forum organised by the National Council of Professors titled “Malaysian politics: What are Umno’s options?” in Kajang, Selangor today.

He is a former seven-term Johor Bahru MP, former cabinet minister, and former Umno supreme council member.

Shahrir’s comments come at a time when both DAP and PKR appeared to be making overtures to Umno, which has vowed to break ties with Perikatan Nasional.

Despite Shahrir’s pessimism, December last year saw PKR and DAP aiding Umno’s bid to oust Bersatu deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu from the Perak menteri besar post.


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