In swipe against Anwar, Mukhriz says won’t back PM appointed with help of corrupt Umno leaders

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
·2-min read
Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir rules out supporting a prime minister installed with the support of corrupt Umno leaders. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir rules out supporting a prime minister installed with the support of corrupt Umno leaders. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said his party will oppose a prime minister installed with the support of corrupt Umno leaders, a statement seemingly aimed at the current Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is bidding for the post.

Speaking before his supporters in Kedah last night, the pro-tem president of the newly-formed Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) had described graft as the Malays’ number one foe, and backing a leader associated with a scandal-plagued outfit like Umno would betray the community.

The speech, reported by Malaysiakini this morning, was delivered amid rumours that Anwar had been actively enticing Umno lawmakers whose support he needs to secure a majority and topple the Perikatan Nasional government.

“Wherever they are, we will not be there. If they want to... allegedly sign statutory declarations (SDs) to support certain parties to become prime minister, we will not be there,” he was quoted as saying.

To date, Anwar has not gone on record to deny or confirm the rumours but statements by PKR leaders, including from its secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, appeared to have given the speculation more weight.

Saifuddin had suggested recently that Anwar would soon have the numbers to form a new government, and that the SDs would be one possible route.

Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa had also suggested that there were efforts within the party to collect SDs to back Anwar. Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was said to be among those who lobbied for Umno and BN to support the PKR president.

Pejuang is not a member of Pakatan Harapan, the biggest opposition bloc, and has openly stated its unwillingness to back Anwar as prime minister.

Mukhriz said last night that his party is firm against corruption and would dissociate with any parties that cooperates with Umno.

Malaysiakini reported that the Jerlun MP had also criticised DAP over the party’s alleged role in helping Umno oust former Perak menteri besar, Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

“Two sides that could never sit together... suddenly to topple an MB they can work together,” he was quoted as saying.

“Maybe under certain conditions, they can work together (with Umno), but we can’t do that at all.”

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