KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — Umno’s Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today said he does not support Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a prime ministerial candidate.

The Sembrong MP’s vehement proclamation came after a viral letter purportedly claiming Umno is fully backing the PKR president to be the next PM replacing Bersatu’s Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“As @DrZahidHamidi said before, he cannot stop MPs from supporting Anwar. But if the letter is true, I was NOT consulted, and this is NOT my position as an UMNO MP. 

I want to categorically state that I do NOT support @anwaribrahimas PM. I have been consistent — NO ANWAR NO DAP,” Hishammuddin, a former Umno vice-president, tweeted

The letter has been circulating on social media and is addressed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. 

It claimed Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamid and all the party’s MPs fully support Anwar to be the next prime minister.

Umno executive secretary Datuk Mohd Sumali Reduan had since denial that the party issued such a letter, claiming it was done to besmirch the reputation of the party and its president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Anwar who leads the Pakatan Harapan coalition has in recent weeks claimed to command the support of over 120 MPs in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat — enough to oust Muhyiddin and lead to a government change.

Anwar was also granted an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last Tuesday. 

However the palace has since said the King did not receive a name list of the MPs supporting Anwar, resulting in continued political speculation. 

The Dewan Rakyat is scheduled to reconvene on November 2 with many anticipating a no-confidence motion taken up then against Muhyiddin.