Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the meeting between PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and 22 Umno lawmakers took place as the Opposition leaders wanted to seek advice on whether they should join other parties.
“Umno leaders told him (Azmin) that they have lost direction and they didn’t know what to do, so they asked whether they should join other parties,” Dr Mahathir told reporters after attending the Malaysia Alumni Convention held at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
The 22 Umno MPs met Azmin at the official residence of the economic affairs minister on Monday night.
Following the incident, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had requested Azmin to clarify his meeting with the 22 Umno lawmakers.
Azmin had since downplayed the meeting by saying that it was a normal meeting and that he is open to anyone who wants to meet him.
Dr Mahathir added that if PKR is not happy with Azmin’s actions, they should tell him.
“I have no opinion on that. That’s his right. If his party is not happy with it, they should tell him.
“Whether his party objects or not it’s up to them to decide,” he said.
Umno disciplinary chairman Tan Sri Apandi Ali has reportedly confirmed that several complaints have been against the 22 lawmakers that included former vice-president Hishammuddin and cousin of former leader Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He added that the disciplinary board will investigate and take necessary action if the 22 breached the Umno constitution.
Among those who attended the meeting include Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar, Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Mohd Noor.
Meanwhile, on a separate matter, Dr Mahathir said those who do not support him can pass a resolution of no confidence and he will abide by it.
Dr Mahathir was responding to a call by Umno lawmakers to form a unity government with the Opposition bloc which comprises Umno and PAS.
“All I know is that PAS also (said it) wants to support me, Umno also (said it) wants to support me, thank you.
“I don’t know who else doesn’t support me. But if you don’t support me, they all can pass a resolution of no confidence, and I will abide by the rules,” he said.
When asked on his respond to Annuar’s question, to pick between Umno and DAP, Dr Mahathir said he would not pick a party that is “damaged”.
“If he didn’t damage Umno, I will pick Umno. But because he and his friend Najib used Umno to make money, why would I want to join a party like that?” he said.
It was reported that Umno leaders made this call saying that even a Cabinet reshuffle will not change the dwindling support of the people given to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
On November 20, Dr Mahathir said there were considerations made as to whether a Cabinet reshuffling was needed post Tanjung Piai by-election.
Critics have indicated that PH’s massive defeat was a referendum of the people expressing their discontent over Dr Mahathir’s leadership.