Zahid makes history as the first UMNO president to attend a DAP conference

THE DAP 2023 conference today made political history when it became the first gathering attended by UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s presence as a guest of honour at the event.

A video from Bernama shows Zahid entering the conference hall with several members of the DAP surrounding him to greet him. This is something that no one could have foreseen a year ago.

This comes after decades of enmity between the two political factions that are now united under the unity government formed after the 15th General Election (GE15) and headed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.Zahid came to the event accompanied by Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and UMNO secretary-general Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.Since UMNO was established on May 11, 1946 and DAP in 1966, the two parties have never established political cooperation for more than seven decades.They were always opponents in elections and after the DAP joined forces with Anwar to form the Pakatan Rakyat and later the Pakatan Harapan (PH), the enmity between Umno and the DAP deepened.After the collapse of the PH government headed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2020, UMNO launched a slogan that it carried into the GE15 which said ‘No Anwar, No DAP’. It was meant to galvanise UMNO troops to support the party against the two political blocs, PH and Perikatan Nasional (PN).However, post-GE15, the wall of hostility collapsed after UMNO joined 18 other political parties to form the unity government.While Zahid’s presence at the DAP function is rather symbolic, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook made history in May this year when he delivered a speech at the UMNO headquarters during a unity government Convention.He then said he would never have dreamed of delivering the speech at UMNO’s headquarters.“I am nervous and I am sure my fellow DAP members, including the vice chairman Gobind Singh Deo had similar sentiments,” he said in his speech at the Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre.UMNO through BN and DAP are among the 19 component parties that form the unity government.The Amanah president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu and PKR vice president Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari were also present at the conference. – Sept 10, 2023
Main photo credit: Utusan

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