Former Parti Keadilan Rakyat MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, now an independent, named the eight MPs: Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh (Kalabakan), Datuk Anifah Aman (Kimanis), Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan), Datuk Chua Soon Bui (Tawau), Datuk Eric Majimbun (Sepanggar), Dr Puad Zakarshi (Batu Pahat), Datuk Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar (Jerantut) and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Gua Musang).
Majimbun and Chua, from Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), have since left BN.
A ninth MP, a Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker, was supposedly in the group as revealed to Pakatan MPs then, but Zahrain declined to identify this MP in Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the deputy speaker who was presiding, asked Zahrain to disclose the name of the ninth MP. Zahrain replied: “You know, I know lah.”
Wan Junaidi told the New Straits Times he was approached five times by senior PKR leaders in Sarawak but was not offered money or position.
“They told me this would be discussed with Anwar. I rejected this because I had no faith in them. I informed the chief minister (Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud) and I was interviewed by MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission).
Puad, now deputy education minister, said Anwar told him in a convincing fashion that he (Anwar) would inform the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that he had secured letters from 30 MPs pledging their support to Anwar as the new prime minister.
Anwar told Puad that he would go ahead and form the new government on Sept 22, 2008.
Puad was first contacted by PKR’s Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on Sept 15, when he (Puad) was in Taiwan with BN backbenchers.
Saifuddin was hoping to persuade Puad to join Pakatan Rakyat.
Dr Abdul Rahim Ghouse, also acting for Anwar, was next to get to Puad, meeting him at a stall in Batu Pahat three days later. Puad, Saifuddin and Rahim had known each other from the time they were student activists.
Puad said: “At that meeting, Rahim gave me a phone to talk to Anwar. He said he would inform the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that the prime minister then (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) no longer enjoyed a majority support in Parliament.”
He said during the 30-minute telephone conversation, Anwar did not mention any inducement, beyond pleading with him that his support was needed, as well as that of all Johor MPs.
Anwar told him he was “looking for someone to look after Johor”.
Anwar promised Puad that he would protect the Malay Agenda if he came to power.
“I told Anwar that the sultan of Johor would chase me out of the state if I signed the letter of support. However, Anwar told me that apart from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the sultans of Perak and Selangor and Raja Perlis were supporting him.”
As promised, Puad performed the Isthiqarah (seeking guidance) prayers and when Rahim called the next day, Puad said he had a dream that he would be selling off “(his) country if (he) signed the letter of support for Anwar”.
“I also mentioned that I was willing to be an opposition MP in the event Pakatan Rakyat did come to power,” said Puad, adding that was the last time anyone from PKR or PR had approached him on that matter.
He did not mention Anwar’s offer to anyone in BN. Asked why Anwar had targeted him, Puad said: “Maybe because I was among those who were critical of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.”
Puad said earlier, former Pas vice president Datuk Husam Musa tried to persuade him to join Pas.
“Husam asked me to join Pas and not PKR so that Pas would have more MPs and could stake a claim for the deputy prime minister’s post, which otherwise would go to DAP.
“Husam also told me that Pas did not know the agenda for Sept 16 as Anwar had never discussed the matter with them.”
Anifah categorically denied wanting to cross over to Pakatan. “I have never even thought about crossing over. It’s all lies,” he said.
Ghapur told the New Straits Times he would respond when debating the royal address next week.
Bung Mokhtar said it was good that “all these lies” by Anwar in 2008 were surfacing.
“It is good because when it is my turn to speak, I will tell what had happened.”
Updated on (March 22, 2010):
"I have never met any PKR reps to hop as I am not a 'kaki lompat' (hopper), I am a 'kaki pukul' (hitter)...whoever does not speak right (in the House) we hit as we are 'anak jantan' (male-offspring), must be brave.
"I have never been involved whether by a direct meeting except I met the opposition leader (Anwar) on a flight, he was seated in the front with his wife, I was behind. He came to see me and asked how I was, I said good...when (do you) want to follow, follow what, he said we already have 30 persons, you have 30 go ahead and form the government, that's all," Bung Moktar said.
He made the revelation while debating the motion of thanks on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's speech while opening the third term of the 12th Parliament in the Dewan Rakyat here today.
Saifuddin, now the PKR secretarygeneral, called Zahrain “a liar” and “a new character among Barisan Nasional attack dogs” after Zahrain, who left PKR on Feb 12, had told Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday that Pakatan MPs were informed that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was waiting at Istana Negara for confirmation on the number of BN MPs who were crossing over to Pakatan for the takeover on Sept 16.
Saifuddin said Pakatan never denied it was pursuing the Sept 16 takeover, but rubbished Zahrain’s claims about the involvement of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and armed forces.
“The truth is,we had written to the then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi requesting a special parliamentary sitting (for the takeover). The letter was signed by (PKR de facto leader) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, (Pas president) Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and (DAP supremo) Lim Kit Siang.”
Majimbun said he and Chua left BN because they had no confidence in the former prime minister.
Anifah: 'I will not apologise to Anwar'
By DHARMENDER SINGH
SEPANG: Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman will not apologise to Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for claims that he had been offered a deputy ministership post as incentive to join Pakatan Rakyat.
Anifah said he had bigger tasks to concentrate on and did not have time to worry about Anwar’s threat to file to a defamation suit against him.
“I have no time to worry about Anwar,” he told reporters on Sunday at the KL International Airport.
“I have bigger and better things to do as Foreign Minister like helping with the efforts to counter the effects of the global economy downturn.”
Anwar on Saturday had denied making any offer to Anifah as an incentive to join Pakatan.
His lawyer Sankara Nair said in a statement that Anwar had instructed him to file a defamation suit against Anifah unless he issued an apology by Sunday.
Anifah had claimed at a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Friday that Anwar had offered him the deputy premiership to persuade him to switch sides after the general election last year.
Anifah had also told international journalists that Anwar should respect the country’s democratic system and accept the result of the elections.