Hisham controversy hots up

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 17 Oct 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The controversy involving Umno’s Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) and Pakatan Harapan over the former’s alleged attempts to break up the ruling coalition has moved up a notch with the PKR president saying that the Umno MP should “know better”.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Hishammuddin should be queried over the allegations connecting him to a plot to oust DAP and Parti Amanah Negara from Pakatan to create a new government.

“He should know better, ” Anwar said.

Asked where he got the information from, Anwar, who was approached by reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday, said: “From Hisham. He must know. He should deny or confirm (the news).”

When told that Hishammuddin had dismissed the allegations, he said: “If he denies, then good news.”

Earlier yesterday, Hishammuddin, who is the Sembrong MP and former defence minister, said he was stumped by the Pakatan secretariat’s statement accusing him of plotting for a government without DAP and Amanah and also promoting divisive politics.

Pooh-poohing the claims, he said: “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 talking about unity?”

Hishammuddin said Pakatan should “sort out its own house” instead of finding fault with others.

The Pakatan secretariat had, in a statement on Tuesday, charged that Hishammuddin was plotting the ouster of DAP and Amanah from Pakatan.

“This is an outdated mode of politics that runs contrary to the inclusive politics advocated by Pakatan, ” it said.

Hishammuddin said he also wanted to know why Anwar singled him out when debating Budget 2020 in Parliament.

“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.

“Why is he focusing on Barisan and Umno unless he feels that he needs our support to become prime minister?” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

Anwar had made references to Hishammuddin when debating the budget on Tuesday, saying there was a “problem of wanting to follow the strategy by Sembrong and others”.

Giving his take on the controversy, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dared anyone to try and break the coalition.

“They can try, ” the Pakatan chairman told reporters when asked if he had heard of such allegations against Hishammuddin.

Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Hishammuddin had never discussed any such idea with the party.

“We don’t know. The party has never discussed this. Anything to do with cooperation, whether with the government or others, must come from the party. Umno supreme council meetings never discussed this, so it’s a non-issue, ” he told reporters.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke, who is the Transport Minister, said the Opposition should not use the “back door” to try and get into the Cabinet.

“The people voted for Pakatan, they (Opposition) were rejected by the people so don’t use the back door to become a Cabinet minister.

“We have been given the mandate to govern, so respect it. Don’t try to cause chaos in the government, ” said Loke.

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