PPBM leaders, Azmin faction in separate PJ meetings amid intense talk of change taking shape

The PPBM headquarters in Petaling Jaya where top party leaders are meeting.

PETALING JAYA: Top leaders of PPBM are currently meeting at the party’s headquarters here amid intense expectations of a political realignment which could see the end of Pakatan Harapan in its current composition.

Just minutes away from the PPBM meeting, PKR leaders aligned to deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali are preparing to meet at the Sheraton Petaling Jaya hotel.

Among nine PKR leaders spotted at the hotel were Zuraida Kamaruddin, Saifuddin Abdullah and Rashid Hasnon.

Zuraida and Saifuddin are part of the Cabinet while Rashid is the deputy speaker of the Dewan Rakyat.

The notice of an event at the lobby of the Sheraton Petaling Jaya today.

PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to arrive at the Sheraton later today after chairing his own party meeting.

Mahathir earlier arrived at Menara Yayasan Selangor, alongside PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman as well as Supreme Council members Rais Yatim and Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

“The meeting by PPBM today is more than routine party discussion,” a source with access to the inner circles of PPBM and PKR told FMT.

Meanwhile, senior leaders of Umno and PAS held their own closed door meeting at Janda Baik, Pahang, last night. Also present was former prime minister Najib Razak.

FMT has also been made to understand that a crucial decision will be made by PPBM today “which could even see the party ditching its current partners” to form a new coalition.

It cannot independently verify the claims.

Tension has been building in Pakatan Harapan, as PKR, DAP and Amanah leaders stepped up pressure on Mahathir to fix a date for handing over power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim

Today’s development comes less than 48 hours after a midnight press conference on Friday, in which a visibly stern Mahathir declared that he was still in charge, and that PH partners had given him the trust to remain as prime minister for as long as he wanted.

Last month, FMT reported that private meetings between Mahathir and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang might foreshadow the realignment of political power in Putrajaya, a move that might sideline DAP, and more specifically, thwart Anwar’s prime ministerial ambitions.

The new alignment would bring together forces aligned to Mahathir with the clout that PAS holds in the northern Malay heartland.

Earlier this month, Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam raised the possibility of a new coalition called “Pakatan Nasional” taking shape.

PH was formed in 2015 by PKR, DAP and Amanah following the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat, which previously united then opposition parties PAS, PKR and DAP.

In 2016, the coalition got its fourth partner, PPBM, formed by Mahathir after a split in Umno. The grouping proved effective in mobilising public support in the wake of public disenchantment with the Najib administration over the 1MDB scandal, culminating in the historic defeat of Barisan Nasional in the 2018 elections.

Additional reporting by Nur Hasliza and Sean Augustin.