KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Umno’s Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein called today for all sides to meet and negotiate a solution that would end the ongoing power tussle that has plunged the country into crisis.
Hishammuddin said this after admitting that he had met all parties in the last five days, amid distrust and heated accusations of scheming and politicking levelled by factions vying for the prime minister post.
Umno itself has been implicated in the alleged plot to unseat the Pakatan Harapan government, which collapsed after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad shockingly resigned as prime minister and his party Bersatu pulled out of the coalition.
“Their hearts must also be sincere in putting the interests of the nation and the people,” he told reporters after meeting Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at his residence in Bukit Damansara, here.
“It is important to have a very rational mind and though and I believe what we are going through, people want it to be concluded soon,” he added.
“So basically, I have met with all the leaders in the country and there is a need for us to sit down, with a calm and sincere heart with the interest of the country and people in mind so we can navigate through this.”
But Hishammuddin’s presence at Muhyiddin’s house will likely fuel speculation that a pact is being negotiated between Umno, PAS and Bersatu, whose president was just nominated to be prime minister.
Earlier this evening, the party announced that it is nominating Muhyiddin as the next prime minister of Malaysia, a decision reached at a meeting attended by 36 Bersatu MPs and members of the Dewan Rakyat.
The 36 include rogue members of former PKR MPs led by Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who was sacked along with Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin for treachery.
The announcement comes just as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong issued a statement saying he cannot ascertain which PM candidate commands majority support from the Dewan Rakyat.
The King has instructed all parties to nominate their candidate from the prime minister position.
Umno has so far denied claims that it would support Muhyiddin’s nomination.
Hishammuddin also played down speculation that his meeting with the Bersatu president was to negotiate a pact.
He told the press that today’s meeting was normal, just like other meetings he had with leaders from other parties.
“I have known Muhyiddin for so long... and the meeting was just like others, like with Tun Dr Mahathir,” he said.
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