Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid admitted that his trip to London had coincided with a rumoured meeting involving several Malaysian politicians ostensibly to discuss overthrowing the unity government.
However, he said that he was not privy to the meeting, nor had he been in contact with any of the alleged attendees at the time, adding that he is a proponent of the unity government with Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“I think, as a senior leader in Umno, I was the one who agreed with and supported the formation of the unity government.
“As for why my name was linked to this matter, I can only think that it was to concoct lies.
“I admit I was there (London) but I did not meet anyone who was linked to the move,” he told the media during a special session at his office today.
The former rural development minister in Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government said he also happened to be in Jakarta when another meeting involving the same politicians reportedly took place in the Indonesian capital but denied that he had been present.
Mahdzir said the move to overthrow the government in 2020 was different as it was instigated by people from within the coalition itself, and not by outsiders.
“So don’t worry, nothing is going to happen,” he said, jokingly reminiscing about the many moves in Malaysian politics, from the Kajang Move by PH in 2014 to the Sheraton Move in 2020.
It was reported that several political leaders held a secret meeting in London recently to set in motion an attempt to topple the current unity government and to get Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to vacate his seat as party president.
Ismail Sabri has since vehemently denied being involved in what has been called the London Move, while Zahid has dubbed it as just “baseless rumours”.
Mahdzir said Umno should now look forward to being in the unity government with former adversary PH.
He said Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) had proven that they had chosen to ally with PH not because of positions, but over the coalition’s willingness to safeguard Islam, Malay rights, the Malay language as well as the role of Malay Rulers.
“If you collaborate with PH and don’t mess with these four elements, then the others will follow. Positions come second,” he said.
Mahdzir added that while Zahid is meeting Umno delegates today to explain the party’s role in the unity government, party leaders will go down to the ground to ensure the same message is conveyed to the grassroots.
“The process involves travelling throughout the country to explain at the state level, from division to branch, why we are in a unity government,” he said.
In terms of state polls, Mahdzir said Umno is ready to take its seat at the table with PH state leaders once the meetings are called.
He said that Umno plans to identify candidates while examining the party’s performance in the last general election (GE15).
“We will discuss (with PH) in the future. We want to see how many seats we will get based on the talks,” he said.
The state elections for Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan are expected in a few months’ time.
Umno lost all parliamentary seats contested in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu during GE15 to Perikatan Nasional, while PH won one in Sungai Petani.
PH, on the other hand, is considered a strong contender in Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan where it controls the state administrations. – MMO