JERLUN: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he has a tape recording of a meeting between him and "an individual" in 2015 over a "plan" to topple Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Deputy Prime Minister said during the conversation, he had never suggested that Najib be removed.
Instead, he said, it was the individual who had suggested to him that Najib be removed via a vote of no confidence in Parliament.
"I was even told by that individual, if that did not work, then the individual would hand in a memorandum to the Malay Rulers to have the Prime Minister sacked.
"Imagine, I had only been appointed Deputy Prime Minister for 10 days when that meeting was held with the individual, what logic do I have to oust the PM.
"There was no secrecy in that meeting, too. The PM knew about the meeting. In fact, I had obtained the green light from him to meet the individual," Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is Umno vice-president, told the Jerlun Umno delegates meeting on Friday.
Although Dr Ahmad Zahid did not mention any name, former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had claimed in a recent blog posting that Dr Ahmad Zahid had met him, supposedly to seek his support and sympathy to replace Najib as prime minister.
Dr Mahathir claimed that Dr Ahmad Zahid had hoped to convince Najib to step down. This took place when he was appointed deputy prime minister following the sacking of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in 2015.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the meeting took place in 2015 and now, two years later, the issue had been manipulated.
"I knew such a thing could happen as once upon a time, I was disliked by this individual during my time as Umno Youth chief.
"I was also detained under the ISA (Internal Security Act) and was forced to resign as this person did not like me," he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said he did not bring the matter up as the individual was well-respected and was still in Umno at that time.
He reiterated that he did not have any motive to remove Najib due to his respect for the Prime Minister and the party leadership.
He added that he "has no intention to bite the hand that feeds".
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