Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Melaka rep denies he’s the man in audio clip of ‘phone call with PM’

Umno's Sungai Udang assemblyman Idris Haron was one of four reps who withdrew their support for the Melaka chief minister, triggering the collapse of the state government and paving the way for an election.

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An Umno man in Melaka who was one of four assemblymen who recently revoked their support for the state government has denied that he was the man in a phone conversation purportedly with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The seven-minute audio clip, sent anonymously to several news outlets including MalaysiaNow, is claimed to be a phone conversation between Ismail and Umno’s Sungai Udang assemblyman Idris Haron, one of the assemblymen whose move to revoke their support for Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali triggered the collapse of the Umno-led state government, leading to the dissolution of the state assembly to make way for a state election.

MalaysiaNow could not independently confirm the identity of the callers.

When asked whether he could confirm the validity of the clip, Idris denied it was him, saying: “Not that I know of.”

In the audio clip, the voice said to be that of Ismail was heard saying that he had come under pressure to form a unity government with the opposition, while appealing to Idris to reconsider his decision to revoke his support for Sulaiman.

The voice claimed to be that of Idris meanwhile said he would not budge from the decision, adding that it was impossible to work with the chief minister.

The voice then claimed that he had the “numbers” to form a new government together with support from DAP assemblymen, following which the person on the other side of the call said he disagreed with such a move.

“Yes, but in terms of our principles, we cannot be with DAP. Imagine you are with DAP, it’s not good. Would you want to be the chief minister with DAP’s support?” the caller said, adding that he had rejected a proposal for a unity government with the opposition despite facing pressure.

“I refused, I said no. For the sake of Malay interests, I will not.”

To this, the voice claimed to be that of Idris said his stand on DAP had changed after Ismail signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders.

This was a reference to the Sept 13 MoU signed by Ismail and PH leaders, some three weeks after the former was sworn in as prime minister on the back of calls from Istana Negara for a political ceasefire to allow greater focus on the war against Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the caller said that an offer by Sulaiman for a confidence-and-supply agreement had been rejected by the opposition in Melaka.

On Oct 4, Idris and three other assemblymen – Umno’s Nor Azman Hassan, Bersatu’s Noor Effandi Ahmad and independent rep Norhizam Hassan Baktee, said they had lost confidence in Sulaiman.

This was followed by state governor Mohd Ali Rustam agreeing to a request by Sulaiman to dissolve the state assembly, paving the way for statewide polls.

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