‘PAKATAN NASIONAL’ TAKES SHAPE – MAHATHIR & MPs FROM BERSATU, AZMIN CARTEL, UMNO, PAS, GPS & WARISAN GATHER AT KING’S PALACE: FINALLY AZMIN CARTEL ADMITS IT – ‘THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME DISCUSSIONS HAVE TAKEN PLACE’

PETALING JAYA — A PKR assemblyman aligned to the party’s deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said a new coalition would likely be announced today.

According to Chong Fat Full, Pemanis assemblyman under the Sekijang, Johor parliamentary constituency this new coalition will replace the current Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“This is not the first time discussions took place regarding the new coalition. It has been discussed for quite some time.

“The new coalition will be named Perikatan Nasional, and would include several leaders from DAP, Amanah (Parti Amanah Negara), GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak), Umno and PAS,” said Chong when met by reporters at the Sheraton Hotel here before entering a meeting with several other PKR members aligned to Azmin.

“Those aligned to Azmin have no intention to leave the party. We will remain with the party until and if we are sacked by party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” he said, reaffirming members’ support for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He added that if these members are sacked from the party, they will either join existing political parties like Parti Gerakan or form a new party.

“The meetings that are taking place today are the result of Friday night’s decision made during the PH presidential council.

“Most likely something happened during the meeting which pushed Dr Mahathir to take these actions,” he said.

Chong also confirmed Dr Mahathir’s meeting with the King at 6pm today, and said a press conference would probably be called at 8.30pm. He, however, did not reveal the venue of the press conference.

Speculation about the change of government went into overdrive today after the major political parties arranged impromptu meetings, after the PH presidential council met to discuss the contentious power transition on Friday.

On Friday, Bersatu warned that it could leave PH after some leaders tried to make Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad fix a date for when he will step down as the prime minister.

Aside from the “cartel” as the pro-Azmin faction are sometimes called, Umno as well as GPS (formerly Sarawak Barisan Nasional) are also meeting in the capital.

MALAY MAIL

New coalition? Bersatu, Umno, Azmin’s PKR, GPS, Warisan and PAS at palace

Bersatu, Umno, Azmin’s PKR, GPS, Warisan and PAS at palace

7.11pm: Istana Negara – A source close to the palace confirmed to Malaysiakini that the six parties at the palace now comprise Bersatu, Umno, PKR (Azmin’s faction), GPS, Warisan and PAS.

The leaders present are as follow:

Muhyiddin Yassin (Bersatu president)

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Umno president)

Azmin Ali (PKR deputy president)

Abang Johari Openg (GPS president)

Shafie Apdal (Warisan president)

Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS president)

The source also claimed that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is present but an aide to the latter denied this.


Umno leaders arrive at Sheraton Hotel

7.05pm: Sheraton Hotel, Petaling Jaya – A number of Umno leaders have been spotted arriving here.

Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri (below) as well as other supreme council leaders such as Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Arau MP Shahidan Kassim and Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said.

Umno lawmakers also present are Maran MP Ismail Muttalib, Paya Besar MP Mohd Shahar Abdullah and Kuala Kangsar MP Mastura Mohd Yazid. Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Md Noor is also here.

Meanwhile, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s aide Fadzlette Othman Merican is spotted and Bersatu’s Jeli MP Mustapa Mohamed has also just arrived.

All of them have been tight-lipped about their purpose in coming to the hotel.


PMO: No press conference by PM

7pm: A Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson says that there will be no press conference by Dr Mahathir Mohamad tonight.

This comes in a PMO media Whatsapp group, in response to journalists request for confirmation if there will be a media conference or major announcement by the prime minister expected later today.

The spokesperson also says that Mahathir would not be at the Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya, where he is speculated to hold a press conference purportedly on a major political development.


Dr M, representatives from six parties at palace – source

7pm: Istana Negara – A source close to the palace informs Malaysiakini that leaders from six parties have now arrived.

However, the source did not name the parties. Mahathir has also arrived.

To date, Malaysiakini can confirm that GPS and Umno leaders are heading to the palace.

The other groups involved in discussions earlier today include PKR MPs aligned to Azmin Ali, Bersatu and Warisan.

PAS was at a scheduled retreat with Umno in Janda Baik.


PAS taking ‘wait and see’ approach, says veep 

6.40pm – While there is confirmation that Umno and GPS top guns are headed to the national palace, there is no word on whether PAS is involved.

PAS vice-president Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah (above) says his party is taking a “wait and see” approach.

“I’m in Kuala Lumpur but there isn’t a PAS meeting… It is a matter for Harapan and the prime minister,” he says.


6.35pm: Sheraton Hotel Petaling Jaya – Supporters have congregated on the floor where PKR supporters aligned to Azmin Ali had gathered.

They are mostly lounging around the hotel floor as nothing of note is currently happening.

Earlier today around 9am, PKR leaders such as Zuraida Kamaruddin, Kamaruddin Jaafar, Saifuddin Abdullah and Rashid Hasnon had gathered here.

Along with them were a number of PKR MPs, such as Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, Nibong Tebal MP Mansor Othman. Segamat MP Edmund Santhara Kumar’s car was also spotted at the hotel lobby earlier.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to give a press conference here later today.


Umno president confirmed heading to Istana Negara

6.30pm: Istana Negara – Malaysiakini can now confirm that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (photo) is heading to Istana Negara.

This is confirmed by a senior Umno leader.

Another Umno source says the gathering at the palace was supposed to have been earlier but was delayed due to GPS’ meeting taking longer than expected.

GPS leader Abang Johari Openg’s vehicle was earlier spotted on palace grounds.


Police on standby

6.20pm: Selangor police chief Noor Azam Jamaludin, when contacted, confirms that the cops are on standby for a possible press conference by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

This after Malaysiakini asks for clarification over communications sighted by this news portal requesting for police back up to guard leaders at Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya.

Political sources tell Malaysiakini that Mahathir is expected to hold a press conference at the hotel after going to Istana Negara.


PKR MPs leave Anwar’s residence

6.15pm: Anwar’s residence, Segambut – A number of PKR MPs who are aligned to Anwar have left the residence.

Among of them are Nik Nazmi (Setiawangsa), Johari Abdul (Sungai Petani), Saifuddin Nasution (Bandar Bahru Kulim), Wong Chen (Subang), Chang Lih Kang (Tanjung Malim), Lee Boon Chye (Gopeng), William Leong (Selayang), Fahmi Fadzil (Lembah Pantai), Xavier Jayakumar (Kuala Langat).

The MPs decline to talk to the media.


Is Dr M heading to Istana?

6.10pm: Istana Negara – A source close to the palace says that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected.

The source says Mahathir was expected earlier but has yet to arrive.

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini can confirm that Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg’s vehicle is spotted within the palace grounds.


Zahid arrives at Umno HQ, then leaves

6pm: Putra World Trade Centre – Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrives at the Umno headquarters but only stays briefly.

Instead, Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa will chair a scheduled supreme council meeting as Zahid hurries to another destination.

Umno sources claim Zahid is heading to Istana Negara followed by a planned press conference at Sheraton Hotel, Petaling Jaya, but the claim has yet to be independently verified.


Activities picking up at Anwar’s residence

5.50pm: Anwar’s residence, Segambut – Activities are picking up here as PKR MPs aligned to Anwar make their way in.

Among them include Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and Subang MP Wong Chen.

His supporters have called for a gathering amid the political movements.


Warisan in the house

5.38pm: Ritz Carlton Hotel – The focus since morning has been on Azmin’s PKR faction, Bersatu, GPS, PAS and Umno.

However, Warisan now appears to also be in the picture as its president Shafie Apdal makes an appearance here, where GPS leaders are also gathered.

He did not speak to the media and proceeded into the hotel. Warisan has a total of nine MPs.


5pm – Quick recap on where things are developing

Sheraton Hotel, Petaling Jaya – PKR leaders aligned to Azmin, some Bersatu leaders

Ritz Carlton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur – GPS, Warisan leaders

Istana Negara – Reporters have gathered since afternoon, convoy spotted

Anwar’s Segambut residents – Supporters starting to gather for prayers

Putra World Trade Centre – Umno leaders are gathering, some still on the way

PAS headquarters – PAS sources say there may be a meeting tonight but it is not yet confirmed


This morning, PKR MPs aligned to PKR deputy president Azmin Ali’s faction began gathering at Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya.

The venue is only 1km away from the Bersatu headquarters in Petaling Jaya, where Bersatu leaders were also meeting.

This had sparked speculation that Azmin’s faction may be joining forces with Bersatu but the political intrigue was further fuelled as it became apparent that opposition parties were also involved.

At Ritz Carlton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, GPS leaders led by its chief Abang Johari Openg had started gathering since afternoon. It was unclear when they flew in from Sarawak.

Then, Umno leaders, who were having a retreat with PAS in Janda Baik, Pahang this morning began rushing back to the Umno headquarters at Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur this evening.

DAP, Amanah and PKR leaders aligned to party president Anwar Ibrahim appear to be out of the loop as several of them, when contacted by Malaysiakini, said they were unaware of the ongoing developments.

Those who are involved, have been tightlipped but the situation continues to develop.  MKINI

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