KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Petaling Jaya Utara Maria Chin Abdullah denied participating in a clandestine meeting of 22 MPs with Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali late last night.
The first-time lawmaker wondered at the fuss in Parliament after exiting another closed-door meeting on economic policies this afternoon chaired by Azmin.
"For me, it was on the economic policy. We were just having our usual discussion on economic policies, not anything related with PKR.
"It’s a closed-door meeting on economic policies, so not up to me to say who is there," she told reporters in Parliament who asked if the afternoon meeting was a political matter.
The former electoral watchdog activist pointed out that economic policies are a political matter but it was not related to the party, noting that such meetings were usually not covered by the press.
“It just that it came immediately after last night meeting, but I was not even b***** there,” she said referring to the much talked about meeting at Azmin's Putrajaya home involving Umno MPs last night.
“Somebody go and put up a poster with my face there, it’s really disgusting,” she added, this time referring to a digital poster being circulated of five PKR MPs, including Maria, who were depicted as "traitors" for allegedly attending last night’s meeting.
The poster was shared by a Facebook user under the name “Ah Tan”.
It listed Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, Batu Pahat MP and Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon, deputy transport minister and Bandar Tun Razak MP Datuk Kamarudin Jaafar as well as Nibong Tebal MP Datuk Mansor Othman, as among the attendees.
A political storm broke out after 22 MPs, including Umno’s Sembrong lawmaker Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, were reported to have met Azmin late at night.
There have been calls by Umno leader to have those involved in the meeting face the party's disciplinary committee while PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has urged Azmin to explain his actions at the PKR political bureau meeting tomorrow.
Azmin downplayed his meeting last night, saying that he is always open to meeting anyone and that one of the duties of a minister is to meet everyone across the board — ranging from politicians to industry captains and foreign investors.
Deputy Transport Minister and PKR Central Leadership Council member Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said the Opposition lawmakers met Azmin to discuss matters of national interest like PH's roadmap for economic and social wellbeing, the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.