Umno’s 23 backbenchers not backing Anwar, says Nazri

Nazri Aziz says Umno backbenchers will stick together and they do not support Anwar Ibrahim’s move to form a new government.

PETALING JAYA: Umno’s backbencher Nazri Aziz says none of the party’s 23 backbench MPs are in support of Anwar Ibrahim’s plan to form a new government.

Nazri, who is Padang Rengas MP, dismissed an FMT report yesterday that tension was brewing in Umno between MPs who back the former deputy prime minister and those who were against him.

“There is nothing brewing in Umno. There are 23 Umno backbenchers. I can confidently say we do not support Anwar’s initiative.”

Yesterday, three Umno MPs who spoke on condition of anonymity said the party’s MPs were divided into three groups: Those who support Anwar, those against and the fence sitters.

However, Nazri said: “On top of those who have categorically denied on social media, I have spoken to the rest and they have confirmed with me that they do not support Anwar’s plan.”

He added that just because Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party’s MPs were free to support anyone they wish did not mean they backed Anwar.

“Umno backbenchers will stick together and any decision we make will be en bloc. I am making this clear to avoid any confusion among the public as to where we (backbenchers) stand on this issue.”

Last month, Anwar announced that he had the numbers to form a new government, some of whom were from Umno. He is expected to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong tomorrow.