Anwar: Zahid back as Umno president because deputy did not have enough support within party

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 03 Jul 2019

PETALING JAYA: The comeback of Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi showed that the party is not yet strong without him as president, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The PKR president suggested that the move to have Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan lead the party after Ahmad Zahid went on leave December last year was not supported by all within the party.

"That is Umno's internal decision, it does not affect the position of Pakatan Harapan and with this decision (Zahid's return), it shows that Umno is not yet solid.

"And it means what was done before this did not receive support from within the party. But that's their internal decision.

"To me, it does not show that Umno is strong," Anwar told reporters after the weekly PKR political bureau meeting Wednesday (July 3) night.

On Sunday (June 30), Ahmad Zahid announced his return as Umno president and Barisan chairman after taking garden leave from the posts since last December.

He had temporarily handed over his duties as party president to his deputy Mohamad in the interests of the leadership and party.

Ahmad Zahid, who was then deputy prime minister in the previous Barisan administration, is facing a total of 87 corruption charges.

Meanwhile, on the police report based on findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) foreign currency dealings in the 1990s being classified as "no further action" (NFA), Anwar said there was a need for a transparent investigation.

"That is our view, there must be a transparent investigation and if the government decided on NFA, that is up to them," he said.

On Monday (July 1), Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the police report was classified as NFA as there was lack of documentary evidence of the purported misconduct.

Liew said that the RCI's secretary Yusof Ismail had also retracted the police report made on Nov 30, 2017.

BNM had incurred losses amounting to RM31.5bil due to its forex dealings between 1992 and 1994 but only RM5.7bil was recorded as deferred expenditure in 1993.

In 2017, the RCI into the foreign exchange losses suffered by BNM in the 1990s recommended in its report that three people be probed over their involvement and liability.

They were Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his then finance minister Anwar and ex-Bank Negara advisor Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, whom the report also named as “principally liable for criminal breach of trust”.

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