MUHAMMAD Muhammad Taib, who returned to Umno on Sunday, will be assisted by two other former Selangor menteris besar to help the party recapture Malaysia’s richest state.
Selangor Umno chief Noh Omar today said the three former menteris besar would have a role in helping the party recapture the state, which has been under opposition rule since 2008.
“I’ve discussed this. Tan Sri Mat Taib will not be the only one joining us (in Umno’s campaign), but, God willing, former menteris besar, too.
“We also have Tan Sri Abu Hassan (Omar) and Dr Khir Toyo. God willing, these three former menteris besar will help ensure Barisan Nasional’s victory (in Selangor),” said Noh, who is also rural and regional development minister.
He added that the three former menteris besar would not hold any formal position.
“They want to find out what has been done so far and ensure there is continuity.
“The current Selangor government, what has it done? All this was done during BN’s time in power,” said Noh.
The announcement of Muhammad, popularly known as Mat Taib, rejoining Umno from PKR was made by Prime Minister Najib Razak at a much-hyped press conference on Sunday.
The Malaysian Insight reported that Muhammad was supposed to have brought eight Selangor assemblymen to trigger the collapse of the PKR-led state government helmed by Menteri Besar Azmin Ali.
Sources said the deal was blocked at the highest levels when it was found out that Muhammad was involved.
PKR elected representives had denied that any of them planned to defect.
Noh today refused to comment on these claims, only saying: “You’ve got to ask Azmin.”
The three former menteris besar have a chequered political record.
Muhammad was Selangor menteri besar from 1986 until 1997, when he was forced to resign after being charged in Australia over an attempt to bring in A$1.2 million cash. He joined PAS in 2013 and then PKR in 2015.
Abu Hassan then succeeded Muhammad as MB in 1997, but abruptly resigned in 2000.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was prime minister at the time, said Abu Hassan had quit to avoid certain unspecified allegations.
Dr Khir then took over the MB’s post in 2000, but the 2008 general election saw an opposition party taking power in Shah Alam for the first time.
Despite retaining his Sungai Panjang seat, Dr Khir then resigned as Selangor Umno chief to take responsibility for BN’s dismal electoral performance.
In 2010, Dr Khir was arrested and charged with using his position to obtain a below-market-value price for his bungalow. He was found guilty and jailed for a year in 2015, and was released on parole early the next year.