KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — A Selangor PKR state assemblyman has denied speculation that he and seven other party members will follow Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib's footsteps in joining Umno.
“This is not true and it’s a fabrication,” The Star Online quoted Sri Muda assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei, who is political secretary to PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali as saying.
An online news portal had quoted a source saying that Muhammad was supposed to appear with eight elected representatives with him at Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s press conference on Sunday, and that the plan was aborted at the very last minute.
Mat Shuhaimi claimed that Muhammad must have misled the Umno president into believing the defections would take place.
“He must have misled Najib into believing we would be tagging along with him to join Umno,” he added.
If the supposed defections had taken place, the current state government can be overthrown with the formation of a joint state government made up of the eight defectors, 12 Barisan Nasional assemblymen, 13 PAS assemblymen and former mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who is now an independent assemblyman.
Such an alliance would have formed a 34-member state government in the 56-seat Selangor legislative assembly, enough to overthrow the current administration under Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
Muhammad said on Sunday that it was a “loss” for him to be part of the Opposition, especially when the Malay agenda is not prioritised.
Muhammad, or commonly known as Mat Taib, was Selangor mentri besar from 1986 until 1997, when he was forced to resign after he was detained in Australia while carrying millions in cash.
Despite the controversy, he still became a minister during the Abdullah administration, but was dropped in the ensuing reshuffle after Najib took office.
The former Umno vice president later joined PAS in 2013, before leaving the Islamist party for PKR in 2015.