Umno leaders dismiss Anwar’s Sept 16-like ‘gimmick’

Umno leaders (from left) Mohamad Hasan, Shahidan Kassim, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Khairy Jamaluddin have brushed aside Anwar Ibrahim’s claim that he has enough support to form a government.

PETALING JAYA: Umno MPs are sceptical over opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement that he has the numbers to form a new government, describing it as “a gimmick”.

Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan said Anwar “could be playing another Sept 16, 2008 game”.

“He is either trying to play a repeat of Sept 16, 2008 or trying to influence Sabah voters in the state election on Saturday,” he told FMT.

In 2008, Anwar had claimed he had enough parliamentary support to topple the government and urged then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to give up power peacefully.

Anwar said then that he failed after his proposal to call for a special Dewan Rakyat sitting was rejected by Abdullah.

Arau MP Shahidan Kassim told FMT he had just got off the phone with Perikatan Nasional backbenchers who were surprised by Anwar’s claim.

“They told me nothing is happening. There is no problem. Even they don’t know where Anwar is getting his numbers from.”

Shahidan says it could be a “gimmick” to influence Sabah voters to reject PN on Saturday.

BN’s Pasir Salak MP, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, asked Anwar to “take the matter to the Dewan Rakyat”.

“It is not enough to claim he has the numbers. Outside of Parliament he can say anything but he has to wait for the Dewan Rakyat to start,” he told FMT.

Tajuddin urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to “focus on the political scenario”, saying snap elections should be held. “Let the people decide once and for all.”

Ummo’s Rembau MP and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in a tweet that he had just finished attending a Cabinet meeting and “nothing has fallen”.

Earlier, Anwar had announced at a press conference he has “majority support” to form a new government and that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to grant him an audience, although this had to be postponed after the King was admitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN).