KUALA LUMPUR: A senior Umno lawmaker claims all is not well within Pakatan Harapan and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's bid to become prime minister, following recent personal attacks against him.
Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein (pic) said he was baffled at Pakatan issuing an official statement against him and questioned why Anwar had singled him out when debating Budget 2020 in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 15).
"What Anwar said in Parliament, he has said to me in private that I was blocking him from becoming the prime minister.
"Who am I? I don't hold any party post and to say that I have influence in the party to block him from becoming prime minister doesn't make sense at all," he told reporters when met in Parliament lobby on Wednesday (Oct 16).
Hishammuddin noted that Anwar's focus on Barisan Nasional and Umno was an indication that he wanted their support for him to become prime minister.
"Why is he focusing on Barisan and Umno, unless he feels that he needs our support to become prime minister?
"If he needs our support, it means that he has no confidence in getting support from his own supporters," he added.
The former Umno vice-president also said he was stumped at Pakatan's joint statement accusing him of plotting for a government without DAP and Parti Amanah Negara, while promoting divisive politics.
"I view what is happening now as a signal that all is not well in Pakatan.
"If they are strong, they will not be targeting Sembrong of all people, as I have no position in the party," he said.
Hishammuddin said Pakatan should "sort out their own house" instead of finding fault with others.
"We will not allow them to make Barisan, Umno or Sembrong scapegoats for their own internal issues," he added.
He also rubbished Pakatan's claims that he is pushing for a new government without DAP and Amanah.
"If they are referring to my writings (blog), where did I say to sideline DAP and Amanah, and where did I say racial politics when I was talking about unity," he said.
Asked if he had secretly met PKR and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia lawmakers, Hishammuddin said he had no reason to do so.
He, however, said there was nothing to stop him from meeting up with other lawmakers to talk about national issues and unity.
Hishammuddin was asked to respond to Pakatan's statement, claiming he was pushing for the formation of a government that will exclude both DAP and Amanah.
Anwar had also made references to Hishammuddin when debating the budget.
Although not going into specifics, Anwar said that there was a "problem of wanting to follow the strategy by Sembrong and others".
Anwar also said that politics should not be about threats, it should be about principles.