Former Anwar ally Khalid Ibrahim attends Umno event

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre) arrives at the Umno Selangor Convention 2017 in Kuala Lumpur with Tan Sri Muhammad Taib (right) and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Dec 2, 2017.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre) arrives at the Umno Selangor Convention 2017 in Kuala Lumpur with Tan Sri Muhammad Taib (right) and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Dec 2, 2017. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Selangor menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim, who was a leader with opposition party PKR before being sacked in 2014, made a surprise appearance on Saturday (Dec 2) at an Umno convention for Selangor state.

Tan Sri Khalid walked into the meeting hall with Umno's deputy president and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysia media reported.

Mr Khalid, 70, was treasurer for Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and a trusted ally of opposition chief Anwar Ibrahim until they split in 2014 when Anwar tried to replace him as the Selangor chief minister.

Mr Khalid was the chief minister for Malaysia's richest state for six years to 2014, when he was sacked from PKR.

He is now an independent MP and simultaneously a state assemblyman in Selangor.

An aide to Mr Khalid, Mustapha Mohd Talib, told The Malaysian Insight news site that the former PKR leader was not joining Umno.

"He was only invited to give insights on the event. He is not here to join Umno," Mr Mutapha was quoted as saying.

The closed-door Selangor convention is being held just ahead of Umno's annual general assembly next week.

Another former Selangor chief minister, Muhammad Muhammad Taib, was also present at the event. He rejoined Umno in September, after first joining Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) in 2013 and then PKR in 2015.

Mr Khalid and Tan Sri Muhammad are senior state figures that Umno is using to get insights on how to recapture Selangor state, which it lost near a decade ago.

Mr Khalid has been seen at several major PAS events, each time raising speculation that he was about to join the Islamist party.