Azmin Ali says chat with Anwar Ibrahim was about national economic matters

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK)- Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali confirmed that his chat over coffee with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that set tongues wagging over a possible reconciliation between the two leaders, was merely about national economic matters.

The two were seen chatting at the Parliament lounge on Tuesday (Oct 15) for about 30 minutes during the lunch break, with party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail joining them later.

This is because this is the first time that the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president and his deputy have been seen together in public following the heated PKR polls last November.

When met at the Parliament lobby, Datuk Seri Azmin said that his meeting with Mr Anwar centred around how they could work together to address economic issues.

He said that Mr Anwar also wanted to give his views on the best way to close the economic gap between regions and people in the country.

"He wanted to see how best we could do it together in an effective manner," he added.

Asked if party matters were raised during his meeting with Mr Anwar, Mr Azmin said no.

"There is a time and place to discuss party matters and a time and place to give attention to issues affecting the rakyat who have given us the mandate in the election to recover the economy," he said.

Asked if he was coaxed by Mr Anwar to attend party meetings, Mr Azmin said that there was no need for that.

He noted that he had previously attended party events and meetings and would continue to do so if not bogged down with ministerial work.

Asked if his meeting with Mr Anwar could be seen as an end to differences between them, Mr Azmin said there was no dispute between them and added that this was the view of an online news portal.

Mr Anwar had earlier confirmed meeting Mr Azmin and uploaded a photograph of them and Datuk Seri Saifuddin having coffee on his Facebook account.

 
 
 

When met by reporters, Mr Anwar said that he had discussed national economic matters with Mr Azmin.

Last month, several PKR leaders, believed to be aligned with Mr Azmin, including vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin, had demanded a reconciliation meeting with Mr Anwar.

However, both Mr Anwar and Mr Saifuddin had said in response that there would be no such reconciliation meeting.

Mr Anwar had instead called on Mr Azmin and Ms Zuraida to attend the party's political bureau meeting on Wednesdays and monthly leadership council meetings.

Mr Azmin and Ms Zuraida have been absent from the meetings since the party polls in November, giving ministerial work as the reason for their absence.