PKR president walked out of first Pakatan top council meet? Hearsay, DAP minister says

Jerry Choong
Transport Minister Anthony Loke speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya August 27, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 30 — DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke dismissed today a claim that the first Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential meeting on May 11 after GE14 was marred by tension.

Loke, who is also transport minister, said he was not present during that meeting at the Al-Bukhary Foundation in Kuala Lumpur where outgoing PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was rumoured to have walked out of due to disagreements over the choice of finance minister.

“I do not want to comment about that, and I feel everyone should be focused on the way forward,” Loke told reporters during a Transport Ministry function here.

Loke said anyone can write based on rumours and hearsay, and that he preferred to focus on his duties as transport minister.

“Even more so now, that PH has passed the 100-day mark. We have to deliver what we are tasked to do.

“As far as I am concerned I cannot be passive but instead ensure that what is in my purview is able to be discussed by the Cabinet at every meeting,” he said.

The claim originated from social activist Hishamuddin Rais’ blog post dated August 20, which alleged that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad politely declined nominating PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli as Finance Minister due to the latter not contesting in GE14 and with two prior convictions against him, among others.

Hishamuddin claimed that because of this, Dr Wan Azizah wanted to withdraw from the meeting and had to be persuaded by DAP leader Gobind Singh Deo to stay.

Despite a delegation sent to confer with PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Cheras Hospital, Dr Wan Azizah and the PKR leaders withdrew from the meeting later on.

Hishamuddin added that he was present at Amcorp Mall near PPBM’s headquarters the following day when he encountered Tun Daim Zainuddin, who supposedly informed him that the selection of Cabinet members had been finalised, with Lim Guan Eng chosen as Finance Minister.

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