Thursday, October 21, 2021

‘Court cluster’ term for Umno leaders is propaganda, says PKR’s Fahmi

The Lembah Pantai MP also compares his party with Umno, saying they have suffered similar fates in several respects.

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Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil has rejected the “court cluster” phrase used on Umno leaders facing multiple corruption charges, in a continuing move by loyalists of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim to push for a political alliance with the Malay party.

“This is propaganda. To me, court cluster is an invention of J-KOM and I won’t promote (the term),” he said in an online talk show recently, referring to the Department of Community Communications, a unit under the communications and multimedia ministry which was rebranded from Jasa, a propaganda unit under the Prime Minister’s Department during the Barisan Nasional era.

Fahmi had featured in the talk show alongside Kamal Amir, an Umno veteran close to party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

His remarks follow improved ties between PKR and Umno on the back of talks between their leaders to explore a political alliance against the Perikatan Nasional (PN) bloc.

“Court cluster” is a pandemic-laced term used for Zahid, former Umno president Najib Razak and a group of Umno leaders who are together facing hundreds of charges linked to corruption, bribery and money laundering.

Both Zahid and Najib had last year written to the palace expressing support for Anwar’s bid to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

The duo, who between them face more than 80 corruption charges, have emerged as the biggest critics of the PN government.

Fahmi said he was aware of those who criticise PKR’s move to cooperate with Umno, with many reminding him of the party’s cooperation with Dr Mahathir Mohamad prior to the 2018 election.

“I was impressed with what Zahid said in Parliament, that honesty and sincerity must form the basis,” he said, adding that PKR and Umno have both fallen victim to those who want to cling to power.

He said PKR and Umno have also suffered a common fate in the form of the defection of MPs, as well as their parties being sidelined while in power.

“What happened to PKR is the same as what happened to Umno before. After GE14, there was a movement that tried to split Umno, just like what happened to PKR,” he said, referring to Umno MPs who joined Bersatu after the 2018 polls.

“The fate of Umno and PKR in that respect is the same,” he added.

Fahmi further claimed that during the Pakatan Harapan administration, Mahathir had ignored PKR’s recommendations for ministerial posts.

“The list of ministers from PKR in Mahathir’s administration was not the party list,” he said.

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