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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Letters to the King in the spotlight

 

Men in the news: While Anwar claims he has the numbers on his side, the Internet was a buzz about a letter supposedly signed by Zahid (centre) and Najib (right) claiming they and Umno MPs are backing Anwar for PM.Men in the news: While Anwar claims he has the numbers on his side, the Internet was a buzz about a letter supposedly signed by Zahid (centre) and Najib (right) claiming they and Umno MPs are backing Anwar for PM.

PETALING JAYA: Three letters allegedly handed to the King have surfaced, adding to the political intrigue ahead of meetings to be held separately by Muafakat Nasional and Umno on the current situation.

One letter, dated Oct 11, lit up the Malaysian cybersphere as it was supposedly signed by Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, informing the King that Umno MPs were backing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim en bloc.

But by yesterday evening, Umno executive secretary Datuk Mohd Sumali Reduan issued a statement, saying that the “president’s office did not issue such a letter”.

“The letter might have been circulated by groups with vested interests with the evil intention to destroy Zahid, ” he said.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said that if indeed it was a fake letter, a police report must be lodged.

As for the second letter, dated Oct 12, signed by Anwar and addressed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Anwar declared that he had the backing of 158 MPs from PKR, DAP, Parti Amanah Nasional, Umno, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and Parti Warisan Sabah.

This, he said, meant that he had the majority support to be appointed the prime minister.

The third letter, dated Oct 9, was a statutory declaration from former education minister Maszlee Malik, who is now with Pejuang. His SD stated his backing for Anwar as PM.

There was much buzz yesterday about the supposed letter signed by Zahid.

The letter, among others, showed that he and Najib supposedly proclaimed that they, and a group of Umno MPs, were withdrawing their support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

As of 8pm yesterday, Najib has not commented on the letter.

Umno leaders, when contacted, said they would raise the matter at the party supreme council meeting on Tuesday.

“It was minuted in the previous supreme council meeting, prior to joining Perikatan Nasional government, that Umno’s stand is ‘No DAP, No Anwar and No Mahathir’, ” one source said.

“The president must explain what this is all about, ” he said.

He estimated that the meeting would be well-attended with about 80% of them participating in it.

Other leaders were of the view that the letter was to sow distrust among Umno, PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, which makes up Muafakat Nasional.

When the letters went viral yesterday, Zahid pinned an old tweet dated Aug 7, emphasising solidarity with Muafakat Nasional.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki posted a picture of Zahid meeting PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yesterday.

“The meeting lasted amicably for two hours.

“Both agreed to fortify Muafakat Nasional. Abdul Hadi said that Umno and PAS form the root of the Malays and Muslims and it must be strengthened, ” said Asyraf in his Facebook post.

(Muafakat is scheduled to have a meeting tomorrow.)

On Pakatan Harapan’s side, some DAP and Amanah leaders have privately indicated their unhappiness that Anwar had “grouped” them together with Umno MPs who have corruption cases pending in court.

Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, when contacted, declined to state whether he agreed to work with Umno MPs. He said he would think it over after Anwar becomes the prime minister.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had yet to respond to requests for comment as of press time.

However, he was reported as saying on Sept 25 that DAP would not cooperate with “an Umno that is under the leadership of (Umno president) Zahid and Najib.”

As for MIC president Tan Sri A. Vigneswaran, he said that Umno should be given a deputy prime minister’s post as the party had the biggest number of MPs in Perikatan.

“It is however the prerogative of Muhyiddin, ” he said. - Star

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