PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said that he has suggested ruling party Umno work with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, but insisted any such cooperation must not involve the Democratic Action Party (DAP), which is part of the Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Datuk Seri Anwar.
He was responding to media reports that claimed he had urged Umno lawmakers to support Mr Anwar as prime minister. The reports also said other Umno leaders strongly objected to his suggestion.
"There are media portals that reported that I have pressured all Umno MPs to support Anwar as PM. That is not accurate," said Najib on his Facebook page on Monday (Oct 26).
"My first suggestion was for Umno to insist on a set date for the general elections to be held, after the Covid-19 situation has been controlled.
"My second suggestion if the first were to be rejected by PN is that Umno has to be open to negotiating with other political parties, including Anwar's, if Umno remains unsatisfied with the treatment within the PN government after what had happened in Sabah," he said, referring to the Perikatan Nasional government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
"However, my suggestion to work with Anwar does not involve the DAP party. This has been stressed multiple times in today's meeting," he said.
Umno held meetings on Monday to discuss whether Tan Sri Muhyiddin should resign, and whether it should continue supporting PN, after the Premier's proposal to implement emergency measures in the country was rejected by the King on Sunday.
Najib noted that if Umno was able in February to work with Mr Muhyiddin even though his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia was "an enemy that had taken many Umno MPs", then the party could discuss terms of working together with Mr Anwar until the next general election.
Najib added that terms would include opening the way for Umno to have a role in the direction of the country's finances and economy, which he said Bersatu currently has a monopoly over.
"I am also open with the decision of continuing conditional support to the PN government until the 15th general election, but we have to renegotiate the conditions so Umno and BN will be given a larger role, especially in matters involving economical planning," he said, referring to the Barisan Nasional alliance led by Umno.
He also said that as a party member, he would support the decision made by the Supreme Council.