Anwar says if one follows the right channel to be PM, there is no need for private meetings.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has rubbished rumours of a plot to pass a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Dewan Rakyat.
He told reporters in Parliament that a vote of no-confidence against the PM had never been raised by any member of the PH presidential council or other senior coalition leaders.
“It did not crop up. Don’t tell me I am not aware of it. I contact Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Mohamad Sabu, (Lim) Kit Siang, (Lim) Guan Eng almost every day, (the matter) did not come up at all and it is totally unnecessary because our ties in the PH co-operation and consensus are strong,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
“Ignore the message because it is fake news, it is a heavy matter, not correct. I have been in Parliament this morning.
“The ones who raise the vote of no-confidence are only those who want a vote of no-confidence. This is a small group on the sidelines of the parties. Otherwise, it has not been raised,” Anwar said.
This morning a message viraled that purportedly the PKR Communications director, Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil had confirmed that Anwar was at Istana Negara to meet Al-Sultan Abdullah.
Anwar denied that he had an audience with the Agong this morning.
The PKR president added that any meeting between him and the Agong was normal.
“I only saw the Agong three weeks ago, and that was a normal audience,” he said.
Anwar said he did not entertain any speculation that an attempt existed to create a back-door government because a transfer of power must be made through the right channel.
“I don’t feel there is a problem, follow the right route, if anybody is interested. Otherwise, there is no focus on work while the problems of the people and the development of the economy must be resolved,” he added.
The no-confidence vote speculation came amid some Harapan grassroots leaders blaming Mahathir for the coalition’s landslide defeat in the Tanjung Piai by-election.
Anwar said Mahathir is taking the defeat seriously and have already taken steps to address it.
“Mahathir sees the Tanjung Piai blow as something serious and he has called for a special session for Harapan this Saturday.
“That means he is responding. He is not ignoring what the people have conveyed,” he said.
He added that those who did not agree with this position were only those in the periphery.
“Those are in the periphery (pinggiran) that do not follow the Harapan direction,” he said.
Asked to elaborate on this group, Anwar merely broke out into song, singing P Ramlee’s ‘Di Pinggiran’.
Anwar also said he has not prevented others from setting their sights on the post of prime minister, but he stressed on the importance of using the right channel to achieve their ambitions.
“I follow the normal process. I have a good relationship with Tun M (Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad).
“Otherwise, we would need to make pacts with this and that faction or (hold) private meetings here and there,” he said.
Although he did not mention names, Anwar’s remarks appeared to be aimed at his estranged deputy, Azmin Ali.
Azmin held a meeting with more than 20 Umno lawmakers on Monday night, fuelling speculation of a potential realignment of political forces.
Anwar warned that if Pakatan Harapan failed to learn from its massive defeat in last Saturday’s Tanjung Piai by-election, it would spell peril for the ruling coalition.
“Some act as if nothing happened in Tanjung Piai when in fact, it was a huge shock, which is the people using the ballot box to send us a clear message.
“Harapan needs to have humility and see that the people are vexed and want to teach us (a lesson). So, learn (the lesson) promptly.
“It won’t help us if we keep behaving in the same manner – displaying each other’s respective powers, distributing projects, seeking to buy over others and using fake news,” he added.
“There are those who accuse us of being a tool for DAP. But I am a tool for (Bersatu president) Tan Sri Muhyiddin (Yassin), Mat Sabu (Amanah president Mohamad Sabu) and Guan Eng (DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng).
“But most importantly, I am a tool for the people of Malaysia,” he added.
Responding to a question if that was an attempt to tarnish his reputation, the PKR president dismissed it as a small matter.
“Efforts to slander and wrong me have been going on for a long time. I hope we are not influenced by such messages because it will happen on a daily basis.
“We know we have the strength… but I leave it to Allah. We have to acknowledge Harapan’s decision and the will of the MPs. If not (for the support from the MPs), I will rest. No problem. No need to be too worried,” he added.
Also present at the meeting with Azmin was former Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein, who the Harapan secretariat had accused of attempting to form a government without DAP and Amanah.
Anwar had also accused Hishammuddin of attempting to use the threat of prosecution to secure support for his alleged plot and urged BN lawmakers not to succumb to this.
Hishammuddin later denied the allegation. He also claimed that he is powerless to prevent Anwar from becoming the prime minister.
Despite Mahathir and Anwar’s repeated assurances that their succession plan would proceed as agreed, speculation has been rife that Mahathir and his inner circle preferred Azmin.
The outcome of the Tanjung Piai by-election led certain quarters to pressure Mahathir to expedite the transition of power process and pass the baton to Anwar.