Azmin says not unusual to meet Umno MPs, will go to PKR meeting tomorrow if not busy with official duties

Azril Annuar
Economic Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, speaks to reporters in the lobby of Parliament November 19, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has downplayed his meeting with 22 Umno MPs including Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein at his official residence in Putrajaya last night.

Speaking to the press before another meeting with more lawmakers at his office in Parliament, the economic affairs minister claimed he met with anyone interested in seeing him.

“It was a normal meeting. We didn’t discuss anything extraordinary. It was a normal meeting and I am open to anyone who wants to meet me, I will meet them.

“I meet with the public, the business community, MPs from PH or non-PH MPs because it is important for a government that cares for the people. We want to obtain feedback from the public, from the business community on what they think of the government’s policies.

“It is not something extraordinary that we should hype it up. I meet with a lot of people everyday,” said Azmin.

He added that he could not recall who requested the meeting in the first place.

The Gombak MP also said people should not listen to rumours regarding the meeting last night.

On the possibility he will hold more meetings with Opposition representatives, Azmin again said he met with many people, ranging from politicians to industry captains and foreign investors.

The Gombak MP said that it is the nature of his job as a minister to “meet people”.

When asked whether he will attend his party’s political bureau meeting tomorrow to explain the meeting as PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he should, Azmin said he would attend if his schedule allows.

“If there is a need, I will explain myself. I must examine my schedule, usually if I don’t have any official duties, I will attend party meetings,” said Azmin.

“I can’t remember (how many times I’ve missed party meetings) because I have a lot of work. But I have records if I am in the country. And if I don’t have any official duties, I will attend party programmes.

“But if I have government duties, I take it as my responsibility including overseas visits. It is important because as a new government we need to introduce what is Pakatan Harapan domestically and internationally.”

He cited the recent devastating loss in the Tanjung Piai by-election as an example of how the public still did not understand the PH administration, which he said was punished because of negative perception.

It was reported that 22 Umno MPs met with some PH counterparts at Azmin’s official residence last night.

Among those who attended were 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.

Today, Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and Nibong Tebal MP Associate Professor Datuk Mansor Othman were seen entering Azmin’s office in the Parliament building.

It was reported earlier that Azmin had another meeting with PKR representatives here.

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