Anwar invited to ‘Sheraton Move’? First time I've heard of it, says Kit Siang

Keertan Ayamany
·3-min read
Lim Kit Siang leaves the Eastin Hotel in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Lim Kit Siang leaves the Eastin Hotel in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang today claimed to have been in the dark that PKR president Anwar Ibrahim had been approached to be part of the political manoeuvre dubbed the “Sheraton Move” to end the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government last year.

The DAP veteran was responding to a report by The Malaysian Insight yesterday citing PKR organising secretary Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who alleged that Anwar was invited to join Bersatu, Umno and PAS to form a new coalition to take power but declined as he was not willing to abandon DAP.

“The version given by the PKR Organising Secretary and MP for Setiawangsa, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad in an interview with Malaysian Insight yesterday is completely news to me,” Lim in a statement.

“I had met Anwar several times in the week after the Sheraton Move in February 2020, as well in the following months, but Anwar had never mentioned Nazmi’s version of the Sheraton Move to me,” he added.

In late February last year, former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, along with several others who would later defect from the party met with several rival political leaders at the Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

The next day on February 24, 2020 Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as prime minister, which then paved the way for the toppling of the Pakatan Harapan government and the appointment of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

It has been speculated that Dr Mahathir refused to follow through with his promise to step down from office mid-term for Anwar to take over as prime minister.

Anwar, who has long waited in the wings to be prime minister, has repeatedly claimed he has sufficient support from MPs to take power but has been barred from doing so with Parliament suspended under the nationwide Emergency.

Earlier this month, he said there were early talks on a possible cooperation between PKR and Umno, although Umno leaders have denied the claims so far.

In a separate statement, DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong said he had connected with Anwar’s “inner circle” repeatedly between February 23 to 29 last year when the Sheraton Move occurred, and claimed such an offer to join the breakaway PH faction was never raised during those talks.

He dismissed Nik Nazmi’s claim that Anwar rejected those offers as he did not want to abandon DAP.

Liew pointed out that it was improbable as the Sheraton Move aimed to remove Anwar from being next in line to become prime minister.

“Throughout the Sheraton coup week from 23 February to 29 February, I was in many meetings of Anwar’s inner circle, which I have kept personal records and notes.

“The idea of an offer to Anwar to form a government without DAP did not arise as the original purpose of the Sheraton coup was exactly to remove Anwar from the equation,” the DAP senator said.

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