Umno-DAP talks to form new Perak government fails

(FMT) – The appointment of a new Perak menteri besar backed by Umno, PPBM and PAS came after protracted talks for a unity government between Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) failed to reach consensus, with DAP as the sticking point.

A BN source told FMT the talks were initially “smooth going” but turned “sour” due to DAP’s refusal to accept one of the conditions.

The condition was to allow BN, PKR and Amanah to hold exco positions in the Perak state assembly, leaving DAP out as a means to appease the Malay voters until GE15, he said.

But DAP disagreed, causing Umno to turn back to PPBM and PAS instead to form a new Perak government, said the source.

He said the idea of Umno working with PH was to form a strong state government until the next elections are called.

A strong government, the source said, would allow the state to be run efficiently.

“This was only until GE15,” he said. “Initially, all looked good but then DAP threw in the spanner and the talks halted.”

This saw up to half of the 25 BN Perak assemblymen signing a memorandum objecting to DAP as part of the unity government, said the source.

“Umno exco members said that if DAP disagreed, they would disagree too, creating a stumbling block in the talks.”

It is not known if PKR president Anwar Ibrahim had advised DAP on the matter after Umno imposed the conditions.

The source added that for now, PPBM, PAS and Umno had agreed on proposing Perak Umno chief Saarani Mohamad as the new menteri besar.

Confirming the matter, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said after meeting Sultan Nazrin Shah today, his party’s candidate had sufficient support to form the new government.

This, he said, was because PAS and PPBM had agreed to back Umno’s candidate.

Zahid, however, declined to reveal the name of the candidate, saying this will be announced by the sultan.

This morning, Zahid and Saarani, who is also the Kota Tampan assemblyman, had an audience with the sultan at Istana Kinta in Ipoh.

While BN has 25 assemblymen in the 59-member assembly, PH has 24, PPBM five and PAS three. Gerakan has one assemblyman and there is another independent member.