There was no coup planned by Anwar Ibrahim to get BN lawmakers to defect on Sept 16, 2008, said PKR vice-president Tian Chua today.
Instead, the anticipated defections were in the context where BN MPs were revolting against the then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
““The BN MPs who approached Anwar confessed that the country would be dragged down if (there was) no change or reform under the same leadership. Discussion between several BN MPs and Pakatan Rakyat was aimed at changing the prime minister and the government.
“Anwar was favoured as the prime minister by both sides,” he told Malaysiakini in a text message.
Tian Chua was responding to BN strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan who pointed out that Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali’s lamentation that any attempts to topple his administration via a coup would be undemocratic, does not hold any water, as he (Azmin) himself, was “a party” in the Sept 16, 2008, attempt against the federal government.
The claim by Anwar that the opposition would form the federal government on Sept 16, shortly after the political “tsunami” in the 2008 general election, did not materialise.
Tian Chua, who was then the PKR information chief, said the discussion between Anwar and the BN lawmakers did not “undermine the public mandate”, and thus, were in line with democratic processes.
““The voters clearly rejected Abdullah’s weak performance by delivering votes that denied BN the two-thirds majority (in Parliament) and the loss of five state governments.
“Anwar was set to participate in a by-election to seek the people’s approval of his bid for leadership,” he explained.
Tian Chua also slammed Rahman for defending Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, and questioned whether the minister’s loyalty was because he was part of the group in the planned exodus in 2008.
He further claimed that BN is now harassing Selangor by implying that the state administration was unstable, and by offering fake news that legislators were jumping ship.
The Batu MP also alleged that the prime minister was using law enforcement agencies to disrupt the opposition-led Penang and Selangor governments.
“These are undemocratic and underhanded means that show no respect for the people,” Tian Chua claimed.
Speculation of BN’s attempted coup in Selangor emerged after Najib held a special press conference last Sunday.
The presser turned out to be an anti-climax when Najib only announced former Selangor menteri besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib’s return to Umno.
This fueled speculation that Najib was supposed to announce defections of more Selangor representatives which would have allowed him to topple the current Selangor government.