Umno pushed for coalition as it bet on winning snap election

Mood within party remains bullish despite plan for National Alliance failing to gather enough support

Malaysia's former ruling party Umno was willing to bet the house on forming a pact with its foes from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, knowing that even if it did not immediately return to power, the political fallout might force a snap election that it could win given PH's falling popularity.

Party sources told The Straits Times that Umno gave party president Zahid Hamidi the mandate to negotiate the proposed Perikatan Nasional or National Alliance plan on its behalf collectively.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2020, with the headline 'Umno pushed for coalition as it bet on winning snap election'. Print Edition | Subscribe