Zahid ‘unaware’ of plot

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says he was unaware of a plot in 2020 involving top Umno leaders trying to oust him as party president.

Responding to a tell-all press conference by Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, he said whatever the case, he could only be removed through provisions in the party constitution.

“I’m not aware of the meeting, but we must respect the party constitution.

“If someone has been elected by the party, there are also provisions in the (party) constitution to allow or disallow any request from members,” he told reporters after attending his graft trial at the High Court here yesterday.

On Monday, Tajuddin, who is Pasir Salak MP, claimed that there was a movement led by Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and former president Datuk Seri Najib Razak to pressure Ahmad Zahid into resigning as party chief.

Tajuddin, who was removed from the Umno supreme council last Friday, claimed that the plot was hatched during a meeting at his house in May 2020, but added that the movement fizzled out after Mohamad and Najib allegedly backed out.

Mohamad and Najib have yet to respond to Tajuddin’s claims.

Ahmad Zahid said he would let the party disciplinary board decide on Tajuddin’s fate following his controversial remarks.

“If any report, request or investigation is needed, the disciplinary board will provide recommendations.

“The supreme council will decide on the action,” he added.

Asked about Tajuddin’s allegations that he (Ahmad Zahid) had pushed Umno MPs into signing statutory declarations (SDs) supporting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister, Ahmad Zahid said he respected his comments.

“But the most important thing is that he is no longer a member of the party supreme council,” he added.

He said Tajuddin was appointed to the supreme council because he had lost in the contest for a vice-presidency in the last Umno polls.

“According to the constitution, the powers to appoint a person as supreme council member is the prerogative of the party president.

“To me, whatever he stated is either untrue or has little truth,” added Ahmad Zahid, who is Bagan Datuk MP.

He said he would leave it to Umno’s grassroots to judge the matter wisely.

Tajuddin had also claimed that Ahmad Zahid, Najib and Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz were among the party’s prominent leaders who signed SDs in support of Anwar being made prime minister.

Nazri had earlier said the plot fizzled out after only four or five Umno leaders signed the SDs.

Tajuddin, who was recently named as Malaysia’s ambassador to Indonesia, has been replaced by former Selangor Barisan Nasional information chief Isham Jalil in the supreme council.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan had said Tajuddin’s removal from the council was to enable him to focus on his duties in Jakarta.

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