Exiting BN: “CM denies meeting ex-DPM Zahid”

Seen are some of the lawyers who met with Abang Johari at the State Legislative Assembly building.

KUCHING, June 7: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg did not meet former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on May 31 as alleged by an online news portal this morning, said the chief minister’s principal private secretary Wan Khalik Wan Muhammad.

Reporters covering a meeting of some 50 lawyers with Abang Johari at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building this afternoon had wanted to get his comments on this story but they failed as he exited the meeting venue hurriedly.

“No comment,” was all that he uttered before quickly entering his car and went off.

Quoting an unnamed source, a news portal this morning reported that Abang Johari had, on May 31, first met Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to inform him that the state ruling parties would be leaving BN and would support the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in ‘matters of Sarawak interests, and in the interest of Malaysia as a whole’.

The news portal added that after the meeting in Putrajaya, Aba‎ng Johari then went to see Zahid in Kuala Lumpur, and Zahid “pleaded” with Abang Johari to stay put with BN, or else the BN coalition would “hancur” (destroyed).

In response, Abang Johari allegedly told Zahid that Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) could be destroyed in the 2021 state election if it did not leave BN.

When reporters approached Wan Khalik , he told them that Abang Johari denied such a meeting ever took place.

“No such thing as the meeting, like what CM (Abang Johari) said,” Wan Khalik said.

In the May 9 general election, Sarawak BN contested 31 parliamentary seats and won only 19 seats.

On May 16, Abang Johari revealed that the state BN was reviewing its position in the coalition. He even hinted forming a coalition of Sarawak-based parties.

This afternoon, Zahid issued a statement denying the meeting with Abang Johari ever took place, adding that he had no knowledge of PBB intending to leave the BN.

He, however, said he respected PBB’s as well as other Sarawak-based BN component’s decision, and encourage other BN state governments to take steps beneficial to their state and people. — DayakDaily