PETALING JAYA: Accepting the two former Melaka Umno men was not an easy decision for Pakatan Harapan (PH), the coalition’s state chief Adly Zahari said today.
He likened it to the coalition accepting former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Bersatu into PH in December 2016, with an eye on the 14th general election (GE14) at the time.
Adly said that bringing in former chief minister Idris Haron and Nor Azman Hassan was done with serious consideration on the value they could bring to the coalition in the upcoming state election and further down the road as well.
“I cannot deny that Idris (as a former chief minister) has the experience in state administration, which I believe Melaka can benefit from. Similarly, Nor Azman too, has the right experience and strengths.
“PH can make use of what they have to drive Melaka forward. That is why (we took them in),” he was reported to have said in an interview with Malaysiakini.
The move to take in the former Umno men has put PKR and Amanah at odds with its PH ally DAP and some within its own ranks.
Adly said that while it may be difficult for some to stomach seeing those who were formerly from Umno being brought into the bloc, it is not without precedent.
“When PH accepted Mahathir (and Bersatu), it was also not easy then.
“But we also looked into several things that became the basis for our decision (in Melaka). For one, they were kicked out from Umno so they no longer carried that baggage with them. This was one of the things in our evaluation.
“We believe that we can work together. It would not be easy from the start, but if they can accept the PH culture, accept our policies, and champion good governance on top of working for the rakyat, then I believe PH can excel in this election.”
Last month, it was the withdrawal of support from Idris, Nor Azman, and two fellow assemblymen that caused the collapse of the state government.
Idris and Nor Azman have now been selected by PH to contest under its banner with the former having joined PKR, and the latter now an Amanah member.
Idris is contesting in Asahan instead of defending his Sungai Udang seat, while Nor Azman will defend Pantai Kundor.
On whether PH would bring in former DAP man Norhizam Hassan Baktee should he successfully defend the Pengkalan Batu seat, which he is contesting as an independent, Adly said “we will discuss that when it happens.”