Azmin: I am open to anyone who wants to meet me

Reports suggest that the PKR deputy president hosted a private meeting involving 22 Umno MPs and 5 others from PH

pic by BERNAMA

IT WAS business as usual, explained PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Azmin Ali (picture) on rumours that a high-level meeting took place at his official residence late Monday night.

Reports suggested that the economic affairs minister had hosted MPs from both the ruling and Opposition coalitions to garner support for Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“There was nothing unusual about the meeting. The matters discussed were not extraordinary. It was a normal meeting and I am open to anyone who wants to meet me,” Azmin told reporters in Parliament yesterday.

“I meet with the public, the business community, MPs from Pakatan Harapan (PH) and the Opposition because it is important for a government that cares for the people (to meet people). We want to gain feedback from the public, the business community on what they think of the government’s policies. It is not something extraordinary that we should hype up,” he added.

The Gombak MP said he could not recall the person who had requested for the meeting, but stressed that it was his duty to meet people.

It was reported that the private meeting in Putrajaya had involved 22 Umno MPs and five others from PH.

Those in attendance allegedly included Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar and Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. The latter, however, denied his presence.

The meeting is the latest of many signs which points to infighting between Azmin and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Azmin has been staying away from party events for almost a year now, citing federal duties.

He may well skip PKR’s political bureau meeting today after an unconvincing response. Azmin said he will have to “check his schedule” to see if he will be available to attend the meeting.

“If there is a need, I will explain myself. I must examine my schedule; usually if I don’t have any official duties, I will attend party meetings. I can’t remember (how many times I’ve missed party meetings) because I have a lot of work.

“But I have records that if I am in the country and if I don’t have any official duties, I will attend,” he said.

Speaking to reporters earlier, Anwar said Azmin will need to explain his meeting with the Opposition MPs.

“Surely we will ask for his explanation. It has created a lot of questions from our partners, so, he should come forward to give his side of the story. If it’s based on his capacity as the government, why weren’t other lawmakers invited?” Anwar said.

PKR advisory council chairman Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also deputy PM, echoed Anwar’s view and hoped that Azmin will attend PKR’s weekly meeting today.