Datu Seri Anwar Ibrahim said on Monday, December 16, that the resignations en masse of Members of Parliament (MP) from the UMNO party are being used to cause separation between him and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
UMNO, the political coalition that had been in power in Malaysia for decades, since its independence, until this year, when the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition took power in the elections in May.
Of late, many UMNO members have left the party, which had once been the biggest one in Malaysia. Many of those who have left are hoping to align themselves with the party headed by Dr, Mahathir, Parti Pribumi Malaysia Bersatu (PPBM), after a short time of being independent legislators.
Many of the former leaders of UMNO say that party leader Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, currently charged with 46 criminal offenses, is to blame for the current condition of UMNO.
The defections of UMNO MPs has also been troubling to ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan’s PPBM’s partners, particularly the DAP. They say they do not welcome members who have left UMNO.
Anwar, who is the president of PHR, has said that due to the mass resignations of the UMNO MPs, many assumptions have been going around.
He issued a statement on the matter, expressing concerns that these assumptions would negatively affect his relationship with the Malaysian Prime Minister.
“I take note that there have been assumptions and claims that have been made by many parties in relation to Umno MPs who have left their own party.
These parties intend to create doubt and to create friction between Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and to sully our good relationship.”
He unequivocally stated his support for Dr. Mahathir, as well as his commitment to work hand in hand with the Prime Minister.
“I will continue to support the efforts and leadership of Tun Dr. Mahathir, and will continue working with him to realize the reform agenda which has been agreed upon.”