KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — Several Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders have denied holding a secret meeting with PAS leaders at the Tropicana Golf Resort in Petaling Jaya, Selangor recently, following accusations of them plotting to defect.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who was pictured at the golf resort, said he was there to see his former staff and lamented that he could not even see his friends anymore without being linked to a move to topple the government.
"I just attended a farewell gathering with former Prime Minister’s Office staff members,” he was quoted saying by Malaysiakini.
"It is not true [about the meeting]. What meeting of 10 people? Only five people were named on the list. These are all malicious slander to ruin my reputation.
"Nowadays, I can't even meet my friends. One becomes a traitor when he meets with PAS friends, but turns into a saviour when he meets [Pakatan Harapan] leaders. This is crazy," he reportedly added.
Ismail Sabri also said that he even met BN treasurer-general Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein there.
"There were even rumours that former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin is plotting to take on Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
"Umno leaders slander each other and even divide the party, just because [some] want to support certain people to become the prime minister and form a government,” he added.
Several photos of BN and PAS leaders being spotted at the Tropicana Golf Resort in Petaling Jaya went viral recently, leading Malaysians online to dub the alleged meeting as the "Tropicana Move” in relation to the infamous "Sheraton Move” plot that saw the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government in 2020.
According to Malaysiakini, 10 BN and PAS leaders allegedly attended the meeting, including Ketereh Umno chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa, PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and Annuar's aide Datuk Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz.
Wee was also quoted dismissing the allegation, saying he was merely having a "dim sum brunch with two friends" in a Chinese restaurant there yesterday.
"I spotted Ismail Sabri's bodyguard and went to say hello to him as he was having breakfast. I just greeted him and then I didn’t disturb him as my friends had arrived," explained the former transport minister.
Wee also questioned how a meeting could have taken place when Ismail Sabri was there all by himself.
"I didn't see anyone else. How do I know if he has a meeting? You can check with the Tropicana management, check the CCTV? Please, this is [about] privacy. How can they do that?" Wee reportedly asked.
Meanwhile, when asked to comment, Annuar denied involvement in any meeting yesterday.
"I was there to play golf," he said in a brief message.
The "Sheraton Move” got its name from the Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya, Selangor where several prominent factions within PH had a clandestine meeting with leaders of the then Opposition BN and PAS in February that subsequently led to the formation of a new government under Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in March.