Dr M: PAS won't back Umno in Semenyih by-election in Malaysia
But opposition party disputes Malaysian PM's version of what was discussed with PAS president
The Semenyih by-election is next month and the lead-up to it is already proving to be an eventful one.
Shifting allegiances, a scuffle between senior Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) members and accusations of psychological warfare were the order of the day.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad dropped a bombshell when he said Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) will not team up with fellow opposition party Umno to fight his party, PPBM, for the seat.
He said he had met PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang on Friday.
The PAS leader confirmed the meeting but merely said he discussed administrative matters with the premier, while Dr Mahathir said they discussed "politics", reported The Star.
The next day, Dr Mahathir claimed that PAS had formally stated it would not support Umno in the March 2 Semenyih by-election.
"PAS has said they will not support Umno in the by-election. They confirmed this not only verbally, but in writing that was signed," he said.
However, Dr Mahathir clarified yesterday that he had only received a sample of the support letter endorsed by PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan, reported The Star.
"I did not receive any letter signed by Hadi and Samsuri (Terengganu Mentri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar). I only have one letter," he said, saying PAS would eventually submit a written endorsement.
Dr Mahathir stressed yesterday that they had not discussed the possibility of working with PAS .
"They only said they would not support Umno in this (Semenyih) by-election, because Umno was not fighting against DAP (Democratic Action Party)," he said.
"But they did not say they would support the Pakatan Harapan candidate from PPBM."
Dr Ahmad Samsuri reacted swiftly.
He said PAS did not make any promises and Dr Mahathirwas using psychological warfare in the upcoming by-election.
The PAS elections strategist said the letter Dr Mahathir was referring to is one in support of the agenda to strengthen the Malay people, Islam and the people's agenda, The Star reported.
"PAS supports the PM in this agenda and it has nothing to do with the Semenyih by-election,"said Dr Ahmad Samsuri.
Yestarday PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan also said the party won't support Pakatan Harapan but only the leadership of Dr Mahathir until the next general election.
"The sample written undertaking given to the Prime Minister is the commitment and support of PAS to support the leadership of Dr Mahathir for the sake of religion, race and country until the next general election," he said.
Things took yet another dramatic turn yesterday afternoon, when Umno Youth exco member Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, better known as Papagomo, was arrested for an alleged attempted assault on PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
On Saturday , Mr Syed Saddiq claimed that he was walking to his car with three others at about 11.05am, when a group of Barisan Nasional supporters jeered at him.
Mr Syed Saddiq, who is also the Youth and Sports Minister, said Papagomo suddenly cornered him, The Star reported.
However, several policemen nearby managed to control the situation, he said.
He also posted videos of the incident on social media expressing his disappointment with "gangsterism".
Papagomo was arrested by Kajang CID officers following a police report lodged by Mr Syed Saddiq.