No secret pact with PH on formation of unity govt - Zahid
KUALA LUMPUR - Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has stressed that the party did not make any secret agreement with Pakatan Harapan (PH) regarding the formation of the government after the 15th General Election (GE15).
Speaking before 2,820 delegates at the 2022 Umno General Assembly here today, the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said Umno’s teaming up with PH in forming the Unity Government was based on the initial understanding at the party level that no coalition could form the government on its own.
"First, we held separate discussions with PH and Perikatan Nasional (PN) two days after GE15, and we set out several key matters, including on the question of Islam, Malays and Bumiputeras, which should be jointly agreed to, and also the matter of formation of the Cabinet.
"In fact, in our proposals we demand that the government to be formed should not be identified with the name of any party and instead should be known as the Unity Government,” he said.
The deputy prime minister said PH responded in writing by expressing its agreement on the basic matters while PN was prepared to consider BN’s proposals.
Ahmad Zahid also said BN's participation in the Unity Government together with PH was also in line with the decree of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
"Apart from that, our stand was in line with the commitment we gave to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to accept His Majesty's decree that a Unity Government be established.
"At the same time, PH also agreed with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's decree but PN rejected it," he added.
He said the decision made was a collective one although the pledge signed by GE15 candidates empowered the party chief to negotiate on matters regarding the formation of the government.
Ahmad Zahid said 54 of the 56 members of the Umno Supreme Council agreed with the decision for the party to form the Unity Government.
"It is hoped that this clarification would put a stop to the polemics on this issue. I know that such matters continue to be harped on, what more with the party election drawing nearer," he added.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said the agreement signed by the coalitions in the Unity Government would serve as a guide for the parties involved.
"Political stability and harmonious ties among parties in the government, Insya-Allah would reflect a progressive Malaysia. This understanding will also ensure that the Unity Government can complete its full term," he said.
The Bagan Datuk MP said to ensure continuity of the Unity Government, the parties in the government had agreed to form a joint secretariat to discuss matters arising from time to time, including political cooperation.
Ahmad Zahid said the government had also agreed to form a secretariat to study the manifestos of parties in the Unity Government.
"In this connection, through this secretariat at the government level we will seek points of understanding and commonality to realise the promises made to the people.
"The most obvious thing is all parties touch on the question of cost of living which in principle can be implemented. This is the common manifestation of all parties in the Unity Government. We hope efforts to translate this to fulfil the agenda of protecting the people can be implemented quickly," he said. - BERNAMA