ZAHID DENIES PLOT TO TOPPLE PM
Zahid says he has proof he did not plot to topple PM in 2015
THE deputy prime minister rubbishes the former premier’s allegation that he sought to oust Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak two years ago. Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says he has an audio recording of the meeting with the person (in an apparent reference to Dr Mahathir) to prove his case.
DEPUTY Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he had an audio recording as proof that he did not plot to topple Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak two years ago.
Zahid said the latest allegation that he had plotted to oust the prime minister was baseless.
He said it was illogical for him to devise such a plot only after 10 days of his appointment as deputy prime minister in July 2015.
In an apparent reference to the recent allegation by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Zahid said: “That was his agenda to oust the prime minister, but two years after the meeting, the person is accusing me of trying to remove the prime minister.
“Stop the lies. I have an audio recording of the meeting I had with the person. Maybe he has forgotten, but I never forget,” he said when opening the Jerlun Umno division delegates’ meeting in Kubang Pasu yesterday.
Zahid, who is also Umno vicepresident, said his meeting with Dr Mahathir then was with Najib’s consent.
“It was this person who had told me about his plan to force the prime minister out of office by mobilising lawmakers, including from Barisan Nasional (BN), to support a vote of no-confidence in Parliament against the prime minister.
“Failing which, the person had told me about the back-up plan to petition the Conference of Rulers to ask the prime minister to step down.
“Ironically, the person is now accusing me of plotting to oust the prime minister.”
However, Zahid said, he did not wish to make the audio recording public for now.
He said the leader had held grudges against him since he won the Umno Youth chief’s post in 1996 by defeating other candidates favoured by the leader.
He said the leader then seized the opportunity to use the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) on grounds of having different views with the then party leadership following the sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the deputy prime minister in 1998.
“The leader used ISA to oust me from the party. While under ISA detention, I was told to sign a letter to resign as the party’s Youth chief.
“Not only that, the next day, I was made to sign another letter claiming that I had resigned on my own free will,” he said.
Despite this, Zahid said, he remained loyal to Umno and had never left to form another party.
He reiterated his loyalty to Najib’s leadership and vowed to continue assisting the party president.
“I have known Najib for decades.
“He made me his political secretary when he was appointed as youth and sports minister in 1987, and I will never forget his good deeds to me.
“Hence, I will never bite the hand that feeds me and I will never betray him (Najib),” Zahid said.
Meanwhile, Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said Dr Mahathir could make any claim, but he must prove it.
“When two or three people are involved in a conversation, they must have the right to defend what was said (in the meeting),” he said after opening the Pasir Mas Umno division delegates’ meeting at SMK Sultan Ibrahim 1 in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, yesterday.
Mahdzir, who is also education minister, said Dr Mahathir’s claim was mainly aimed at splitting Umno by showing that there was a problem between the prime minister and his deputy.
On another note, Mahdzir said it was improbable for PKR, DAP and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia to unite to face BN in the next general election.
He said the three opposition parties had differing agendas to mount a cohesive challenge against BN.
“I don’t think DAP is ready to sacrifice everything and allow Pakatan Harapan to make decisions.” Additional reporting by Embun Majid
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi opening the Jerlun Umno division delegates’ meeting in Kubang Pasu yesterday.