KLANG: No PKR assemblymen from Selangor was going to defect and join Umno together with Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib on Sunday.
This was confirmed by Sri Muda assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei, who is the political secretary to Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
An online portal had reported that Muhammad, popularly known as Mat Tyson, was supposed to gather eight PKR assemblymen to be present at a press conference by Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Sunday. The report claimed that the move was aborted at the 11th hour.
Mat Shuhaimi alleged that Muhammad must have misled Najib into believing the defection of the PKR representatives was going to take place.
"He must have twisted a story to misguide Najib and other Umno leaders into believing we would be tagging along with him into their party," said Mat Shuhaimi.
Besides Mat Shuhaimi and Azmin, who is the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman, the other Malay Selangor PKR assemblymen are Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Kajang), Dr Idris Ahmad (Ijok), Amiruddin Shari (Batu Caves), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad ( Seri Setia), Haniza Mohamad Talha (Kg Medan), Yaakob Sapari (Kota Angerrik), Rodziah Ismail (Batu Tiga) and Dr Daroyah Alwi (Sementa).
Amiruddin, Nik Nazmi and Dr Daroyah are also state executive councilors.
Muhammad, who was a former Selangor mentri besar, left Umno five years ago to join PAS and later moved to PKR in 2015.
Mat Shuhaimi said Muhammad's departure from PKR was of no loss to the party or the state as he had played an insignificant role in the two years he was a member.
There was talk that if a defection had taken place, there was a possibility of Azmin being overthrown and replaced with a government made up of the eight defectors, 12 Barisan Nasional assemblymen, 13 PAS assemblymen and former mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who is now an independent.
The new alliance would form a 34-member state government in the 56-seat Selangor legislative assembly.
Meanwhile, a PKR insider said all the PKR assemblymen who were allegedly going to defect were hardcore party members who had been with the party since the very beginning.