KUALA LUMPUR – November 20, 2019: It was obvious that chalet operator Zamani Said was angry as he raised his voice when The Mole talked with him about the controversial meeting between several Umno lawmakers and PKR number two, Datuk Seri Mohamad Azmin Ali.
The Langkawi Umno member believed that it was an unnecessary intrigue, given how the party’s partnership with PAS had been proven to be a potent strategy to defeat Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the next general election.
“To be seen as in cahoots with Azmin is just wrong. Do they not realise how tarnished his image has been ever since the ‘semburit’ video?” was his rhetorical poser, referring to a gay sex video which surfaced in July involving two individuals; one of whom resembled Azmin.
“Umno and PAS’ national unity front, along with MCA and MIC had been proven to be a winning formula. It won us Cameron Highlands, Semenyih, Rantau and Tanjung Piai by-elections. We don’t need this ridiculous manoeuvring,” he added.
The supposedly secret meeting on Monday night at Azmin’s residence in Putrajaya was reportedly attended by 22 Umno parliamentarians.
Former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein had been accused by several quarters as being the mastermind of the meeting.
The meeting came in the wake of mounting calls for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down following Pakatan Harapan’s crushing defeat at the Tanjung Piai by-election where Barisan Nasional (BN) won with an overwhelming majority of 15,086 votes.
While Hishammuddin had brushed off the allegation, Zamani and another ordinary Umno member, Shahila Zahari, deemed that the meeting –said to discuss ways to thwart plans of a coup against Dr Mahathir– has “Hishammuddin’s name written all over it”.
“He had done something like this before. Almost everyone in Umno knows about the ‘backdoor government’ stunt that he tried to pull a few months ago. Honestly why can’t these Umno leaders just prep the ground instead of doing this nonsense politicking,” said Shahila, who is a member of Larut Umno division, Perak.
This was the second time Hishammuddin being implicated with claims of political switcheroo with the previous being his alleged attempt to form a new government last month through the realignment of political forces, which he also denied.
Another Umno grassroots member, Hazrin Abu Syafiq of Cukai, Terengganu, argued that fostering any cooperation with those of PKR will not be received well by party grassroots given the bitter history between supporters of Umno and PKR.
“It’s a different case with PAS. PKR is just another level, not okay. They have been spewing venom at us for so long. BN does not need PKR. With PAS’ help, BN has a high chance of winning 101 parliamentary constituencies that are Malay-majority.
“These selfish leaders need to think things very carefully because us, the grassroots have no problem booting them out if they betray the party and its supporters. We had done it before in the last general election and we can do it again if the need arises,” warned Hazrin.