KUALA LUMPUR: A news portal’s mistaken identity may have led it to name Amanah president Mohamad Sabu as one of a few Pakatan Harapan leaders last night who were vocal in calling for Dr Mahathir Mohamad to fix a date for his departure.
Malaysiakini, quoting unnamed sources, reported that Mohamad, or Mat Sabu, who is also the defence minister, had scoffed at a threat by PPBM to quit the coalition if Amanah and DAP continued to pressure Mahathir to hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim.
“Mat Sabu said ‘if that is your decision we have no problem with it, we are used to being in the opposition’,” the portal wrote.
The claim has since been strongly denied by Mat Sabu, with his political secretary Azhar Mat Dali describing it as mere speculation.
“I wish to reiterate that Mohamad Sabu had nothing to do with speculative tales being spread (on the PH meeting last night),” he said.
When pressed further, Azhar refused to divulge details of what actually transpired in the two-hour meeting chaired by Mahathir and attended by all top PH leaders.
A reliable source confirmed Azhar’s denial, saying the portal “got it completely wrong about the identity of those who were vocal in calling for Mahathir to limit his term”.
“The only two vocal individuals there (in calling for Mahathir to step down) were a three-term Amanah leader from the Klang Valley, and another from DAP who is a minister,” the source told FMT.
On Twitter, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad from Amanah said PH’s decision last night was a blow to attempts by Umno and PAS to break apart the coalition.
But political blogger Firdaus Abdullah, whose Twitter account is followed by the prime minister’s press office, appeared to suggest that the federal territories minister was the Amanah leader who had asked for Mahathir to step down.
“Ha ha ha ha … we know what you tried to do last night. Good try,” Firdaus tweeted, responding to Khalid’s praise of Anwar for putting aside his supporters’ sentiments in calling Mahathir to fix a handover date.
Mahathir yesterday announced that PH leaders had unanimously agreed for him to remain in the top post.
“No time, no date, no nothing – after Apec,” he said, referring to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Kuala Lumpur this November.
Under a deal struck by the PH leadership in the run-up to the 2018 general election, Anwar was to succeed Mahathir as prime minister at an unspecified date after the coalition took over Putrajaya.