PKR assemblymen in Selangor have denied claims that eight of them were going to join former menteri besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib in jumping ship to Umno to topple the state government.
Six reps contacted by The Malaysian Insight via phone and WhatsApp said they had never heard of such a scheme.
“Nothing of the sort. Never heard any talk about getting reps to defect before this. It’s just a rumour. Nobody knows where it came from,” Sementa assemblyman Dr Daroyah Alwi said.
The Malaysian Insight contacted Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali for comment, but the state Pakatan Harapan chairman and PKR deputy president has not responded.
Dr Daroyah slammed Umno for attempting to get Selangor government lawmakers to cross over to its side.
“Whatever it is, Umno can stop dreaming. Don’t think they can buy PKR reps. Our fight is still based on Anwar Ibrahim’s struggle ,” she said, referring to the jailed PKR de facto leader.
Sources had told The Malaysian Insight that Muhammad was to have taken eight Pakatan reps with him to Umno. However, the plot fell through following intervention from high-level stakeholders.
Had it succeeded, the defectors would have helped Barisan Nasional take over the state government by joining 12 Umno assemblymen, 13 PAS reps and independent assemblyman Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to form a bloc of 34 lawmakers.
The Selangor assembly has 56 seats. Currently, DAP has 14 seats, PKR (13), PAS (13) and Amanah (two). Apart from BN’s 12 seats, another two are held by independents.
Another PKR rep, Shuhaimi Shafie, said the allegation was slander meant to cover up Umno’s embarrassment at being able to get only Muhammad.
“I am sure there was no such plot. It is a story twisted on purpose. It is another series of slander aimed at disrupting the state government ,” the Sri Muda assemblyman said.
Shuhaimi, who is also Azmin’s political secretary, said talks of such a plot did not come as a surprise with the general election approaching.
“Don’t be surprised. This will continue until the 14th general election comes.”
Bukit Lanjan rep Elizabeth Wong said claims about getting PKR reps to join Umno were meant to save Prime Minister Najib Razak’s face.
The state government was intact and working as usual, she said, adding that no PKR assemblyman would betray the people’s trust given to them in the last general election.
“With the general election nearing, we will face even more stories and slander. But, I have faith in the wisdom of the people in Selangor.”
Rawang rep Gan Pei Nei said the rumour was circulated to cover up Najib’s failure to get defections from the opposition.
“All elected reps in Selangor are committed to honouring the people’s trust.”
Seri Setia rep Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad dismissed the idea that there were PKR assemblymen willing to abandon the party.
“It is not true. The Selangor administration is intact.”
Sri Andalas assemblyman Dr Xavier Jayakumar, too, denied the claim, and challenged Najib to dissolve Parliament to see whether the people would still support him.
“Stop doing silly things and wasting our time.”
Other reps contacted who have yet to respond are Yaakob Sapari (Kota Anggerik), Dr Idris Ahmad ( Ijok) and Rodziah Ismail (Batu Tiga).