Top Umno leaders signed SDs to back Anwar as PM, says Tajuddin

PETALING JAYA: Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz were among the party’s prominent leaders who signed statutory declarations (SDs) to support Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.

This was among the startling revelations by senior Umno leader Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman in a no-holds barred press conference days after he was ousted from the party’s supreme council.

Although allegations of such SDs have been around for a while, this is the first time it has been confirmed by a senior Umno leader.

Anwar had claimed then that he had “the numbers” in Dewan Rakyat to oust the Perikatan Nasional government.

Tajuddin, obviously hurting after being dropped from the supreme council, opened fire on party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, saying he was “tak layak” (unfit) to be a leader.Ahmad Zahid, he said, had been hypocritical to the grassroots members about not working with Pakatan Harapan.

“He (Zahid) said ‘no Anwar, No DAP and No PKR’ but they were all lies told to Umno members and the public. I am a living witness to the SD, and I was forced to sign.

“Zahid was the head (kepala) in getting the signatures. Some people who signed include Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz,” he said.

He added that Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein did not sign the SDs.

The signing was done at Hotel Tamu in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, he said.

Tajuddin claimed that Ahmad Zahid also sought support from the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin administrations, assuming that the former prime ministers would “help” him.

“Zahid was desperate because he assumed he would get ‘help’. However, he realised that help was not coming, if you understand what I am saying,” Tajuddin said.

Meanwhile, Nazri confirmed that he was among Umno leaders who signed the SDs to back Anwar as prime minister.

However, he said he signed it to save Umno from being dissolved.

“When Mahathir was prime minister, he wanted to dissolve Umno. I was the Barisan National secretary-general, so I wanted to save Umno. I called Anwar because the agreement was for Mahathir to be the prime minister for two years before passing the baton to Anwar.

“So I went to see Anwar and I told him: ‘Datuk Seri, when you become prime minister don’t dissolve Umno’.”

Nazri said Anwar replied: “Nazri, Umno is Pak Ibrahim’s (Anwar’s father) party, so I won’t dissolve Umno.”

With the guarantee, Nazri said he decided to support Anwar, and he even told his “friends” to do so.

However, Nazri said not every leader agreed.“Only four or five signed. We signed the SDs to save Umno, so it (Tajuddin’s expose) is true but in the end, Mahathir didn’t give the position (prime minister) to Anwar so the SDs expired,” he said.

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