Two statements released around the same time by Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Anwar Ibrahim and his Barisan Nasional (BN) counterpart Ahmad Zahid Hamidi have been found to be not only written in the same tone, but with some passages corresponding word for word.
The finding further confirms the coming together of both leaders in their efforts to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, some five months after Zahid and former prime minister Najib Razak wrote to the Agong backing Anwar’s bid for the top post.
The statements by Zahid and Anwar last night were issued after BN and PH held their top leadership meetings.
In their statements, they urged the Agong to call for a Dewan Rakyat sitting to convene during the virus emergency, condemned a minister for dismissing such a call, and listed several possible agendas for MPs to discuss.
This led to a string of comments on social media.
“Because they shared office printer,” quipped one user.
Their introductory paragraphs are also similar, referring to a statement by the palace explaining the powers of the Agong to call for Dewan Rakyat sittings subject to the prime minister’s advice.
“Barisan Nasional menjunjung kasih titah KDYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong pada 24 Februari 2021 di mana Yang di-Pertuan Agong telah menzahirkan pandangan bahawa Dewan Rakyat boleh bersidang semasa tempoh darurat berkuatkuasa pada suatu tarikh yang difikirkan sesuai oleh Duli Tuanku atas nasihat YAB Perdana Menteri,” read Zahid’s statement.
Meanwhile Anwar’s opening paragraph said: “Ahli-ahli Dewan Rakyat Pakatan Harapan menjunjung kasih titah KDYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong pada 24 Februari 2021 di mana Yang di-Pertuan Agong telah menzahirkan pandangan bahawa Dewan Rakyat boleh bersidang semasa tempoh darurat berkuatkuasa pada suatu tarikh yang difikirkan sesuai oleh Duli Tuanku atas nasihat YAB Perdana Menteri.”
Both statements also criticised Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Takiyuddin Hassan, who on Wednesday defended the move to postpone Parliament sessions under the emergency declaration, accusing the PAS leader of going against the Agong’s views.
Even the items they listed as topics for debate in the event that Dewan Rakyat convenes were the same, in both their language and order.
The only difference in PH’s statement was an omission of a mention of Malay and Muslim unity, and of political stability.
The two statements ended with identical paragraphs.
In October last year, MalaysiaNow revealed a letter to the palace jointly written by Zahid and Najib, backing Anwar’s bid to topple the Perikatan Nasional government that Umno is a part of.
The duo have never admitted to the claim, but both have been urging BN MPs to consider supporting Anwar.
Both Zahid and Najib were part of Anwar’s team when they were together in Umno in the 1990s.
Zahid was also among those who were arrested in 1998 after then-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched a crackdown on supporters of Anwar following his dramatic sacking as deputy prime minister.
The common stand by BN and PH comes in the wake of Umno’s decision to end its support for Muhyiddin’s PN coalition as soon as Parliament is dissolved.
Umno also said it would not cooperate with Bersatu at the next general election.
Bersatu was co-founded by Muhyiddin and Mahathir following shocking revelations of Najib’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal.