PETALING JAYA: A day after Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi came under pressure to step down, several party leaders have voiced their strong dissatisfaction over the possible cooperation between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan to form the Federal Government.
Former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he was willing to be sacked by the party rather than cooperate with Pakatan.
“As I stressed yesterday and even before this, (I will) continue to reject any cooperation with Pakatan.
“I am willing to be sacked by the party and will never change my firm stance on the matter.
“Those who feel they can take action against me for sticking to this position, please do,” said Hishammuddin in a post on his official Facebook page yesterday.
He was repeating his stand following pictures of a meeting by the leaders of Barisan and Pakatan at the Seri Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Hishammuddin as well as Umno’s Jelebu MP Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias and Kuala Pilah MP Datuk Adnan Abu Hassan were not at the meeting.
Also said to be absent from the meeting was Simpang Renggam MP Datuk Hasni Mohammad.
Khairy Jamaluddin, the former Umno Youth chief, questioned whether “A vote for Pakatan equals to a vote for Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi”.
In a clip titled, “A vote for KJ equals a vote for Zahid”, the Barisan Nasional’s GE15 candidate for Sungai Buloh questioned whether it was him or Ahmad Zahid who had an alleged phone conversation with Pakatan Harapan chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“So who had a phone conversation with Anwar? Me or Zahid?
“Think carefully. If you really want to reject Zahid, in the end, your ‘pak sheikh’ (Anwar) will have a deal with Zahid,” he said.
“Please do not disturb Sungai Buloh,” added Khairy in the clip uploaded to his Twitter account.
In last Saturday’s GE15, Barisan saw its worst performance in a general election after it managed to secure only 30 seats.
Calls were then made for Ahmad Zahid to take responsibility and step down.
In JOHOR BARU, Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi continued to criticise Ahmad Zahid’s decision to negotiate with Pakatan.
Earlier, he had urged Ahmad Zahid to resign and not negotiate with Pakatan Harapan.
Onn Hafiz has now asked Johor Umno members whether they were willing to work with Pakatan and DAP.
“I would like to ask the people in Johor Umno, are you willing to collude with Pakatan and DAP?” he said in a short statement on Facebook accompanied by photos of Ahmad Zahid meeting with Pakatan leaders as well as a DAP logo.
Onn Hafiz said that the image of the Umno president and Barisan chairman was the main reason for the coalition’s GE15 defeat.
“While Umno members wait for the noble move of the president to immediately resign, he is instead, if media reports are true, busy negotiating with Pakatan.
“He led us to the battlefield and caused us to suffer devastating defeat, (and) should not be negotiating with any parties on Umno’s behalf,” Onn Hafiz said.
Meanwhile, Johor Umno also said that any coalition that formed the Federal Government should not involve DAP.
State Umno chief Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad said the country needed a stable government that could face the social and economic challenges ahead.
”At the moment, the main priority of political parties in Malaysia is to form a coalition that is stable and a government that is functional as well as moderate to lead the country in bracing upcoming social and economic challenges.
“As such, Johor Umno’s stance is that the coalition that will be formed should not involve DAP,” he said in the statement.
He added that the upcoming Umno election should also focus on restoring the party and regaining the trust of the people.