Why support Dr M when you’ve won by-elections? PKR MP Nik Nazmi asks Umno
KUALA LUMPUR,. Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad has questioned today the reason behind Umno’s alleged plan to get back to power using a “backdoor” government, which came after defeating Pakatan Harapan soundly in the last two by-elections.
He said that the report of Umno wanting to support Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to stay in power for the full term is odd, as Umno supporters and members are happy and confident with the party’s performance in the Tanjong Piai and Kimanis by-elections in November and December last year.
“This backdoor government has clearly betrayed the people’s votes and is not healthy for democracy. If Umno has the desire to become government again, they should improve the party and use the elections.
“If there is any Umno leader who is convinced of Dr Mahathir’s struggle, they should have left Umno before the 14th General Election, when Dr Mahathir was insulted and attacked repeatedly, not when Pakatan Harapan was in power,” he said in a press statement.
Yesterday, a Singapore daily reported that Umno may throw its backing behind Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to serve out a full-term in an attempt to prevent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s succession to the seat of power.
Citing unnamed party sources and a recording of Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Straits Times said the Malay party’s top echelon is pushing to lobby the 94-year-old to stay on for the remainder of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government mandate instead of handing over the reins to PKR president Anwar as previously agreed.
Nik Nazmi, who is also PKR chief organising secretary, said Umno should continue to be an effective Opposition to PH as it has experience, resources and the members to do so.
He said that Umno as the “grand old party” has also experienced reform after their former presidents have left the party in the past.
“At present Umno is the largest Opposition party in Parliament, and at times they raise good questions to the government. Unlike us before, Umno gets to chair of the Public Account Committee in Parliament and even the Opposition MPs get the allocation from the government while they have access to media space.
“This is far from our previous experience in the Opposition, when not only our ability to check the Barisan Nasional government was blocked, but some of our representatives were persecuted and imprisoned,” he said.
The allegation of collusion between Umno and Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia has been going on for months including when 22 Umno MPs were seen meeting with PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali in November last year.
In the Umno General Assembly last December, rumours were so rife about Umno joining the “backdoor” government that Zahid had to put to rest concerns among Umno members over the alleged attempts by several of its lawmakers to form a backdoor government in his presidential address.