Khalid Samad: Umno MPs’ silence on support for Anwar thwarted takeover plan

(FMT) – The reluctance of Umno leaders in voicing support for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim prevented Pakatan Harapan (PH) from regaining control of Putrajaya last year, said Khalid Samad.

The Shah Alam MP said this disrupted Anwar’s plan to form a new government.

He said Umno was not willing to openly voice its support, even though Anwar announced he had the support of more than 112 MPs.

“Their reluctance to boldly state that Umno supported Anwar as the prime ministerial candidate caused his statement to be disputed,” the Amanah communications director told FMT.

In September, Anwar had revealed he had “strong and convincing” support from various parties to form a new government, with a nearly two-thirds majority.

However, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong later clarified that the PKR president had only disclosed the number of MPs supporting him but did not provide a list of names to back up his claim.

While Amanah was ready to cooperate with Pejuang’s Dr Mahathir Mohamad or Warisan’s Shafie Apdal at the time, Khalid said, his party respected Anwar and gave him space to gain support from Barisan Nasional MPs.

“Although Amanah did not stop Anwar from trying to gain support as he was acquainted with Umno MPs before, for us, a more successful approach would have been to work with Mahathir, Shafie and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman,” he said.

Khalid also denied rumours that Amanah was now split in half, with leaders supporting either Anwar or Mahathir.

He said the 11 Amanah MPs had decided to continue backing Anwar as the next prime minister, adding that the party was working on forming a “big coalition” led by PH and Anwar to unite the opposition.