PETALING JAYA: The people must stop blaming Umno for the collapse of the Melaka state government, former prime minister Najib Razak said today on news that the assemblymen involved had met opposition leaders beforehand.
“That’s it. Meetings and agreements before the four assemblymen withdrew their support. So, don’t blame Umno any more,” Najib said in a Facebook post that made reference to comments by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim earlier today.
In a separate posting, Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan said the people of Melaka must consider who was the mastermind behind the defections, given Anwar’s comments.
It was apparent that Pakatan Harapan was willing to work with some of the defectors, save for former DAP man Norhizam Hassan Bakti who has been rejected by the coalition.
Shahril said he had previously stressed that Umno should not have been blamed for the actions of its two former members, assemblymen Idris Haron and Nor Azman Hassan. “Umno was firm and swift in dismissing their membership,” he said. “Whatever (the party’s) weaknesses may be, no one can dispute that it took clear action within 24 hours.”
Shahril added it remained to be seen if the people will be asked to vote for the three former assemblymen on PH tickets. “If not, it seems PH values only their ‘services’ and only considers them as assets,” said Shahril.
Earlier today, Anwar had defended the defectors, saying the action of the Melaka four was to return the people’s electoral mandate to PH “which was previously stolen through betrayals” – a reference to the “Sheraton Move” of February 2020 which caused the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan federal government.
He was quoted as saying that Idris, Nor Azman and Noor Effandi Ahmad had met with leaders of Melaka Pakatan Harapan before withdrawing support for the chief minister together with Norhizam.
Anwar had said the understanding was that the three would back PH efforts to form a new state government.
Anwar, who is PKR president, said the PH central leadership was in the final stages of deciding on whether to accept the trio into the fold.
The four assemblymen had stated on Oct 4 that they had lost confidence in the chief minister, Sulaiman Md Ali. Their action led to the dissolution of the state assembly and to fresh elections being called for Nov 20.