Meeting with Azmin was to gauge support for PM and settle allocations


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019

PETALING JAYA: The meeting between a group of Umno MPs with Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was to ensure that the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has good support from Pakatan Harapan and the Opposition, said a source.

The source said the meeting was also to hear out the MPs who had wanted to meet with Dr Mahathir about allocations for their constituencies.

“Azmin holds a big portfolio and Dr Mahathir had instructed that he handles all the requests from opposition MPs about their needs for the people.

“These 22 MPs had wanted to meet the PM following a much earlier meeting of opposition leaders last July.

“However, as Dr Mahathir was busy, his parties directed them to meet with Azmin first so that he could gauge where their support stood and whether they were sincere in wanting to support his leadership.

“It was supposed to have been before the Tanjung Piai by-election but it so happened everyone was busy and yesterday (Monday) was the only available slot.

“We were quite surprised they all turned up, after such a resounding Barisan Nasional victory and calls for Dr Mahathir to step down,” said the source, who is also a top PKR leader.

An Umno MP who was present said it was just a dinner party and that there were no serious talk or speeches.

“We were met by Azmin and four other PKR MPs.

“We were asked what we needed for the constituencies as we were lacking in finances. As we were the government for decades, Azmin told us that he would weigh all requests at the ministerial level,” explained the source.

An Umno MP from Johor requested that the government take over a few schools from abandoned fishing villages and convert them to TVET institutions to be used to train personnel for the gas industry there.

Another Umno MP said they were also asked who they supported.

“Seventeen of us told him that we supported Dr Mahathir.

“The other five said they will inform Azmin later,” said the Umno MP.

A PKR MP who was there, and was in charge of making the invitation, said: “It was mature politics. Many had requested individually to meet Azmin.

“As they came from different factions from within Umno, there was no one leader,” said the PKR MP who is also a minister.

On a meeting held yesterday with 13 PKR MPs at Azmin’s office in Parliament House, Azmin’s political secretary Hilman Idham said Azmin had explained to them what transpired at the earlier meeting.

“He said he was meeting the opposition MPs to settle their allocation matters and also to see where they stand should there be a vote of no confidence in Parliament,” said Hilman.

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