PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The 22 Umno MPs who recently met Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali have said they did not lose faith in its party leadership as claimed by the Prime Minister.
In a statement signed by a group of Umno MPs, they denied that the MPs would consider joining another political party.
The group comprises Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said (Kuala Krau Member of Parliament), Datuk Salim Sharif (Jempol), Datuk Jalaluddin Alias (Jelebu), Ramli Mohd Nor (Cameron Highlands), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Pengerang), Datuk Abdul Rahman Mohamad (Lipis), and Datin Mastura Mohd Yazid (Kuala Kangsar).
"Never once was such stance mentioned by any Barisan Nasional MPs during that meeting.
"Even Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa had tweeted that this was defamatory.
"Annuar Musa had also mentioned that those who were at the meeting are faithful party members," the group said on Friday (Nov 22).
Earlier, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the recent meeting between the MPs and Mr Azmin saw the former asking if they should support the Pakatan Harapan government leadership.
"I asked Azmin what he had discussed with the 22 Umno MPs.
"He said the Umno people had lost their party (direction) and they asked if they should join other parties. And they wanted to confirm if they should support our leadership," said Dr Mahathir.
The MPs said that the meeting on Monday (Nov 18) night at Mr Azmin's residence was in relation to funds for the development of the constituencies, including the building of public infrastructures like mosques, suraus, and community halls.
"Aside from that, with the recent victory at the Tanjung Piai by-election, we also had asked Azmin to join Umno, because this (the by-election victory) was proof that the rakyat now trust Umno and Barisan.
"And we reiterate that we will not move from Umno or jump ship," the MPs said.