KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has found an unlikely ally in former PKR vice-president Tian Chua.
The former Batu member of parliament said Zahid could play a key role in stabilising Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's government despite calls for the Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president to be left out.
He said despite strong opposition from within BN, Zahid had managed to bring the coalition into the new unity government headed by Anwar.
With BN joining forces with Pakatan Harapan, Anwar was declared prime minister by the King.
Tian Chua said Zahid had proven instrumental in the formation of the unity government as, following BN's support, other coalitions also followed suit.
He said PH and BN leaders now have to build trust in one another and Zahid would be instrumental in this as well.
"There is still scepticism within BN, especially Umno. But Zahid has demonstrated his ability to consolidate BN into a unified stand to cooperate with PH.
"Zahid's experience in government is a plus and he could complement the largely inexperienced PH ministers."
Tian Chua also said excluding the so-called "court cluster" of Umno leaders who currently have court cases against them would be a mere public relations exercise and would not guarantee a corruption-free administration.
He cited the previous administration led which did not have any ministers or deputy ministers with ongoing court cases yet had allegations of impropriety and corruption thrown at them anyway.
However, Tian Chua said the inclusion of anyone with ongoing court cases should not mean immunity, with proceedings continuing until their conclusion.