PETALING JAYA: Two Umno ministers have debunked talk that they are backing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be prime minister.
Their statements to deny the matter came about after a letter surfaced on social media, purportedly signed by Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that MPs from the party were fully supportive of the Opposition Leader.
The letter, which was supposedly addressed to the King, was subsequently repudiated by Umno executive secretary Datuk Mohd Sumali Reduan, who said there was no such letter from the Umno president’s office.
In a Facebook posting, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein noted that even if the letter was real, he was not informed about it nor was it his stance as an Umno member.
“I want to state here clearly, that I do not support Anwar as prime minister. I’m consistent – NO ANWAR, NO DAP, ” he wrote.
Hishammuddin also distanced himself from earlier remarks by Zahid, who said he would not stop any MP from Barisan Nasional from backing Anwar as prime minister.
As for Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, he said the Umno president did not speak on his behalf.
“I am not supporting Anwar to become prime minister.
“I hope other Umno MPs will make their position clear.
“Let’s see then who has the numbers, ” he tweeted yesterday.
The viral letter purportedly claimed Umno MPs had pledged unwavering support for Anwar to be the country’s leader.
Zahid and Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan have since denied the authenticity of the letter, declaring that the party would stand strongly by the decision of the Umno supreme council, which is to strengthen Barisan and secure Muafakat Nasional.
Last Tuesday, Anwar met with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara to relay to the King the support he has to become prime minister.
Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement later that the names of MPs who purportedly supported Anwar as the next prime minister were not disclosed during the meeting.