Anwar describes PAS’ allegations of coup as ‘lies’

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic) has described PAS’ allegations of a Pakatan Harapan coup against Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as lies.

The PKR president said the Islamist party was trying to deflect attention from the controversy facing the party over the probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com­mission into the RM90mil from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) allegedly paid to the party.

Speaking to reporters after giving a talk on education at Universiti Selangor, Anwar said other Pakatan parties had also dismissed the allegation of an impending coup.

“Nobody wants to comment because they think it is a non-issue and a PAS attempt to deflect focus away from 1MDB,” he said.

PAS’ move to issue a declaration of support for Dr Mahathir’s leadership has fuelled speculation that an internal plot is brewing within Pak­atan to oust the Prime Minister via a no-confidence vote in Parlia­ment.

Last Friday, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Terengganu Mentri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar met Dr Mahathir in Kuala Lumpur.

Following the meeting, PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said a draft of a written declaration had been prepared which stated that PAS will support Dr Mahathir until the next general election.

On Sunday, Takiyuddin said Dr Mahathir indicated that he would be betrayed and face a vote of no confidence.

PAS, he added, would support Dr Mahathir in the event this happens.

Anwar, when asked about the pledge, said the letter might not be true.

“They have ruled lying as permissible. As they said, they can lie if need be to save the party, so we don’t know if it is true or not,” he said.

Anwar said that in his interaction with Dr Mahathir, the matter of the alleged coup did not come up.

To a question if he would discuss it with Dr Mahathir, Anwar said he would not as it was a non-issue.

Separately, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin doubted if a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister would take place when Dewan Rakyat meets next month.

He said it was PAS’ right to state its support for the Prime Minister, adding that Dr Mahathir himself had raised the possibility of a plot against him.

“If the Prime Minister himself mentions it, then who can deny what he says? The question though is whether there is anyone who will bring up such a no-confidence vote,” said Khaled.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said Dr Mahathir’s political manoeuvres were an attempt to create a rift between Umno and PAS.

He urged Umno and PAS members not to lose their focus and to strengthen cooperation, including in the Semenyih by-election.

In Semenyih, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also dismissed PAS’ claim of a betrayal within Pakatan Harapan as a lie.

While Muhyiddin said he was not privy to the meeting between Dr Mahathir and PAS, he was inclined to believe the Prime Minister over PAS.

“I do not know what transpired in that meeting, as I do not have the privilege to know.

“Dr Mahathir knows and perhaps he will explain further in the near future.

“But what is for certain is that Dr Mahathir’s claim is not something that is made, he is not someone who would do so. So, when Dr Mahathir made the statement, PAS felt trapped, so maybe they decided to lie.

“PAS came up with a statement saying that their level of support towards Barisan in Semenyih will be less than in Cameron Highlands. So what does it mean; they do not support Barisan? Or they support in a tiny way? It is hard to believe liars.

“They would say one thing in London, another thing in Marang; secretary-general says a different thing, Nik Abduh says another; they should just keep to one narrative.

“Hopefully the people will judge PAS’ actions and translate that into votes in this Semenyih by-election,” said Muhyiddin at a press conference in Beranang here.

Dr Mahathir had claimed that PAS stated in a written agreement that it would withdraw its support for Barisan in the Semenyih by-election.