Will a marriage between Umno and DAP work?

Umno and DAP have not seen eye-to-eye since the 1960s, however, both sides have been slowly warming up to one another since last year after the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Pakatan Harapan.

(Sinar Daily) – So far, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke has not ruled out a collaboration with Umno deeming this as ‘anything is possible in politics’ while Umno’s supreme council member Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman had also said the “no DAP’ slogan within Umno was a lie.

Several Umno members have also voiced out support to work with DAP, stating there is no problem working with them in terms of policies for the betterment of the country.

Political analyst Prof Datuk Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said such collaboration was possible if Umno captured 70 seats while DAP won about 50 seats to form a stable government in the coming general elections.

He said support for the alliance would also depend on the leadership of both parties.

“Support from the Malay and Chinese voters would depend on their leadership. The supporters will follow but there would be some criticism here and there,” he told Sinar Daily.

However, he said certain leaders from DAP-stronghold states like Penang, Selangor, Perak and Johor may resist Umno as partners but will be willing to accept if there is a clear advantage for them.

“DAP is utilitarian and opportunistic in their orientation,” he told Sinar Daily.

Furthermore, Umno has problems to gain footing in Pas-led Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah and due to that may work with DAP if needed after elections.

Shamsul Amri further said the Umno-DAP alliance may have the potential to create a stable government, especially in states with a balance Malay- Chinese population.

Universiti Utara Malaysia Prof Azizuddin Mohd Sani said there is possibility of Umno-DAP to work together to form a stable government.

“Who would have thought Dr Mahathir Mohamad could work with Anwar Ibrahim and they even win in the last general elections,” he told Sinar Daily.

But he acknowledged that cooperation between Umno and DAP will be difficult as both parties would need to compromise. Furthermore, he said Malay and Chinese voters may be wary of such cooperation.

“The ultimate decision will come after both parties explain to their voters to support this extraordinary idea,” he said.

He added Malaysian political system is still based on ethnicity, Umno and DAP could break the mold by working together.

“The issue now is to form a stable government that we haven’t seen since 2018. So, if they compromise, any party can collaborate, it doesn’t necessarily mean Umno and DAP only.

“Any party can bring stability if they have enough numbers,” he said.

He was of the opinion that an alliance was a realistic and reasonable move in politics and either way, there will be pros and cons to any decision made by certain parties.

Umno-DAP alliance may work for the short term, he said unless party leaders want to continue the collaboration.

“Our politics is extremely dynamic so it all depends on the situation,” he said.

However, another analyst Prof Madya Datuk Ismail Sualman said the “stark differences between both parties” will keep both of the political parties away from each other.

“The Malays are against DAP and may even see them as taboo to work with and vice versa,” he told Sinar Daily

From a historical point of view, Umno and DAP have been against each other since 1965,” he said. This was four years before the 1969 racial clash.

Contrary to the views of Shamsul Amri and Azizuddin, Ismail feels: “Even after the election, if there’s no one party with a majority vote, even then, I don’t think Umno can accept DAP and vice versa.”