by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
PKR president and Opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) claimed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is being used to intimidate Opposition lawmakers to discard their loyalty to their own party and support the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
Anwar said some of the MPs revealed they have been contacted and queried by MACC and other authorities including tax department and the police, which they believed to be a scare tactic that would make them abandon the Opposition bloc.
Apart from the “threats”, Anwar also claimed that there are also MPs who have been propositioned with hefty “remuneration” to cross over to PN, which, in recent months, has been seen to be in need of additional seats to remain in power.
Anwar made the claims in a press conference yesterday following the resignation of Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar from PKR.
Dr Xavier, who was also PKR VP, quit the party on Saturday before declaring his support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In response, PKR stated that Dr Xavier had earlier claimed that he was being blackmailed via an ongoing MACC case by a senior minister.
“This intimidation must be stopped,” said Anwar, who will be writing a formal complaint to MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki on the matter.
“I will write to him tomorrow and seek an appointment to address this matter. We agreed for MACC to carry on their respective duty and to take proper action to those who did wrong, but not to use their power as a political weapon, like if they switch support to PN their case will be postponed or withdrawn,” he added.
Anwar claimed that other lawmakers who are also on the list of “being harassed” include Sungai Siput MP Kesavan Subramanium, Putatan MP Awang Husaini Sahari and Padang Serai MP Karupaiya Mutusami.
Anwar said despite the tactic, the PN coalition will still lose its majority in the Dewan Rakyat, following his recent discussion with Umno leaders, who are willing to withdraw their support from Muhyiddin.
“What makes them so sure that while they could gain the support with these intimidations and offers — they will still be commanding the majority?
“If they say they have 112 of support (after Dr Xavier crossed over), if we take some fraction of those who are stating their support for me, they may only be left with 100 MPs.
“This is not including another 13 MPs from other factions like Parti Pejuang Tanah Air and Parti Warisan Sabah.
“So, why don’t we ask PN if they have the majority? This may be the cause of why they do not dare to call the Parliament to be reconvened?” said Anwar.
Yesterday, Anwar also had a meeting with a total of 36 PKR MPs who had pledged their loyalty to the party.
As for the party’s cooperation with Umno, Anwar said there had been discussions with some Umno MPs who also agreed to form a new government, but the concept is at an early stage.
“There were discussions, but nothing has been formalised yet,” he said.
In an interview with Mingguan Malaysia that was published on Sunday, Anwar acknowledged that there were negotiations between Umno and PKR to collaborate in the next general election as both parties have “a mutual understanding” on certain matters.
“But that does not mean that we’d compromise our principles. What transpired was the understanding on matters related to democracy and the need to uphold the constitution,” Anwar said.
The report has also created a stir among Umno top leaders and the Opposition bloc.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said he was unaware of any discussion or such a collaboration, while the party information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan said Umno is still standing by its supreme council’s decision to not work with PKR or DAP.
PKR information chief Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil said he is optimistic the partnership will be well-accepted by the party grassroots, while noting that the matter has not been discussed by the Pakatan Harapan leadership council.