KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Opposition MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s group photo with Umno MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was taken about a month ago when the two met for an ordinary dinner, Dr Mahathir’s aide has confirmed.
Adam Mukhriz Mohd Muhayeddin, a media officer to Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) chairman and Langkawi MP Dr Mahathir, took to Twitter to clear the air over the photograph which was the subject of public speculation.
“Since this photo became viral today, this photo was taken at Ku Li’s residence, about a month ago when Tun M was invited for dinner. Thank you,” he wrote in a brief tweet on his Twitter account, referring to Tengku Razaleigh by his popular moniker Ku Li and Dr Mahathir by his commonly known name Tun M.
Since gambar ni jadi viral hari ni, gambar ni diambil di kediaman Ku Li, kira kira sebulan lalu ketika Tun M dijemput untuk makan malam. Terima kasih pic.twitter.com/8O86ILsqFD— Encik Adam Mukhriz (@adammukhrizmy) October 15, 2020
When contacted, an aide to Dr Mahathir confirmed the details of the tweet.
Addressing questions on the purpose for the meeting, the aide who declined to be named told Malay Mail: “It’s just an ordinary dinner. Nothing political. Way before Sabah election. Somewhere late August or early September.”
The Sabah state election took place on September 26, with the election campaign period starting on September 12.
Earlier today, Opposition politician Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan claimed that the photograph was not a new or recent photograph, further alleging that the photograph was taken in 2016.
Khairuddin was seen in the same group photograph featuring Tengku Razaleigh, Dr Mahathir, together with his wife and Dr Mahathir’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali.
Khairuddin, who is Parti Amanah Negara Jasin Parliamentary co-ordinator, also sought to deflect suggestions that the photo was recent based on the face masks sighted in the photo.
Tengku Razaleigh’s political secretary was yesterday reported saying that the Umno advisory council chairman was granted an audience on Tuesday with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, to enable the ruler to hear the Gua Musang MP’s views on the current political situation in the latter’s capacity as the longest-serving MP.
Tengku Razaleigh’s audience with the King took place right after Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had left the Royal Palace, after the PKR president was granted the same to inform the Agong of his supposed majority support in Parliament.
Anwar had claimed to have sufficient numbers of MPs backing him to form simple majority to form a new government, while Umno had said it is considering withdrawing its support for the Perikatan Nasional pact to instead focus on their truce with Islamist party PAS in Muafakat Nasional.
Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had on Tuesday also denied knowledge that Tengku Razaleigh had an audience with the Agong, saying he was not informed of this but had learnt of it through the media.
Tengku Razaleigh was yesterday reported to have written on September 25 to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun to argue that a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should be debated in the Dewan Rakyat.
Dr Mahathir was previously hampered in his bid to have such a motion debated in the Dewan Rakyat, due to what he said was the PN government’s placing of the proposed motion at the end of the Dewan Rakyat’s daily proceedings which made it difficult for the motion to be tabled due to time constraints.
Azhar yesterday clarified that Malaysia’s parliamentary system ― which he said is similar to that practised in Australia ― meant that a no-confidence motion would not be expedited if not received by a minister.