Zahid says yet to speak with Pakatan about sacked Umno leaders joining

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he has not had formal discussions with Pakatan Harapan (PH) about the coalition possibly accepting politicians sacked from his party.

Yesterday, PH chairman and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told a press conference that some of the members Umno had sacked in an apparent clear-out earlier last month have approached his party with an eye on joining.

However, Anwar said his party would discuss with Umno before taking any action.

"As of now, there has not been any discussions with me on this matter," Zahid was quoted as saying in a report by The Star today.

Rivals prior to the 15th general election, PKR and Umno are now allies in Prime Minister Anwar’s national unity government that encompasses all parties in the country, bar those in Perikatan Nasional.

Last month, Umno undertook a purge of malcontents and dissenters in the party, expelling over 40 members for various infractions during or around the 15th general election, and handing out six-year suspensions to several others.

Since then, some of those sacked, such as former deputy communications minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, have expressed their intention to join PKR.

Among those sacked by Umno last month were former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin and former Selangor Umno chief Tan Sri Noh Omar.

Former vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and former information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan were suspended for six years, along with Datuk Maulizan Bujang and Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Sharif.