KUALA LUMPUR: Political stands must be based on political realities, which is why Umno is working with DAP in the unity government despite its earlier stand of “No DAP”, explains Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan.

He said that Umno was very much aware of DAP’s stand on issues and likewise, DAP understands Umno’s stand.

“They (DAP) are not pretentious and they do not fake friendships. Neither do we (Umno) have to fake it.

“We know who DAP is. Just as we know PKR and Amanah. We made the decision based on the most suitable choice to allow us to manage differences,” he said during the opening of the Youth, Wanita and Puteri assemblies on Wednesday night (Jan 11).

Mohamad said for many years, Umno and DAP had been on the opposing side, and questioned whether that stand spells bigger and stronger support from the Malays.

He cited past election results as an indication that despite Umno’s criticisms and slams towards DAP, support of the Malays towards Umno did not increase.

Mohamad said if Umno were to choose to form a government with Perikatan Nasional, it would only be the third fiddle and would have to share the demographic interests.

This, he said, would make it difficult for Umno to manage differences in the future.

“What is for sure our decision to work with Pakatan Harapan has allowed Umno, the party that represents the interests of the Malays, to be in the government.

“This is something that Umno will be unable to do if it joins a government under Perikatan leadership. This is because Umno will be the third fiddle in this partnership,” he said.

He reiterated that Umno did not join Pakatan, instead participated in the unity government with the coalition, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sarawak (GRS).

“We are forever Barisan Nasional.

“We work together to manage the country with Pakatan, GPS and GRS,” he said.

He also said Umno’s participation in the Unity Government allows for the Cabinet to reflect Malaysia’s diversity, adding that the tactic to appoint one or two representatives from the Chinese and Indian communities as well as Sabah and Sarawak into the Cabinet should not be the way forward.

“We need a genuinely Malaysian cabinet that spells Malaysian aspirations. From our point of view, being in the Unity Government is not just crucial for Umno but also the future of Malaysia,” he said.