BN in merger talks with PPBM, says Umno MP

Padang Besar MP Zahidi Zainul Abidin. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Perlis Umno deputy chairman Zahidi Zainul Abidin revealed today that Umno and Barisan Nasional MPs have met PPBM leaders to discuss a merger.

Zahidi, who is Padang Besar MP, said the purpose of the discussions was to seek the “best option to save the Malays”.

“We are trying to discuss with PPBM to save the Malays. We want PAS but PAS is not ready so we are looking for the best option because we want the best for the Malays,” he told reporters today at Umno headquarters.

He said BN MPs met PPBM leaders two to three months ago, but refused to disclose the details.

Zahidi said: “We are planning to merge with PPBM but we do not want to quit Umno.

“Some of the MPs agreed to discuss with PPBM while some agreed to discuss with PKR. So we will see which one is the best. We have met PPBM.”

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had previously confirmed that all Umno MPs had signed statutory declarations, empowering him as party president to negotiate with political parties outside of BN.

He had said such negotiations were to form an alliance which would enable the Malay party to once again assume federal power.

He did not deny the possibility that the party could cooperate with PH, although Umno is now seen to be working closely with PAS.