By P PREM KUMAR & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / TMR file pix
PAKATAN Harapan’s Presidential Council is expected to deliberate on claims that 40 Umno MPs are seeking to change their allegiance to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture), who is also PKR incumbent Wanita chief, said the matter will be discussed at the upcoming presidential meeting this Saturday (Nov 3).
“Whatever it is, we have to discuss this in the meeting and see what is good and what is not good, whether it is healthy or not healthy for Pakatan Harapan because it might not be good to us,” she told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Zuraida has also downplayed claims that the alleged move is to prevent PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from becoming the country’s next prime minister (PM).
“I have read about it, but I do not know how far it is true. This will stop Anwar from becoming PM? I would think that this is just a speculation made by extreme individuals.”
Jeli MP Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed’s recent decision to join Bersatu has sparked concerns that there will be a leadership exodus at beleaguered Umno.
In the wake of Mustapa’s move, Bersatu Supreme Council member Datuk Abdul Kadir Jasin claimed that 40 Umno federal lawmakers are looking to follow suit.
Currently, Bersatu has 14 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, including Mustapa’s.
Umno, on the other hand, is left with 49 seats from the 54 it won in the 14th General Election.
Apart from Mustapa, Masjid Tanah MP Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Bukit Gantang MP Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, Bagan Serai MP Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali and Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman had also quit Umno after May 9.
Umno secretary general Tan Sri Annuar Musa admitted that there was a proposal for Umno MPs to join Bersatu. He said some MPs received the offer directly, while others were invited using intermediaries.
“Some of our MPs were called to consider the move. The idea of strengthening Bersatu comes from a particular party. We understand why it was made because Bersatu is weak with only 13 seats,” Annuar said, adding that he did not receive any invitation to jump ship.
Meanwhile, Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said an elected person does not necessarily need to be in the government to serve.
“Time will determine whether he (Mustapa) can meet the expectations that have been put on him,” Tajuddin said.