Former Umno Supreme Council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman today said that party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was dissatisfied as he had failed to nab the country’s top position during the political crisis last year.
Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman today said at least 15 Umno lawmakers had signed statutory declarations (SD) to support PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to become the prime minister, days after he was sacked as Umno Supreme Council member.
In a press conference, the Pasir Salak MP also alleged a movement to topple Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi back in May 2020.
“I’m a living witness. I didn’t want to sign at first, but I was urged to. After that, they kept saying ’No DAP, No Anwar’. Those are all lies. They were lying to the public and especially Umno members. I’m basically being sympathetic towards Umno members that did not know what was happening behind the curtain.
“We had to respect the president, right? We could not reject the president,” he told reporters at Eastin Hotel here.
The Pasir Salak MP said this was why the Umno court cluster, led by Zahid, appeared to be pushing the government in several matters, especially the dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for the 15th general election.
“Zahid is not happy because he didn’t get that post (prime minister),” Tajuddin said at a press conference in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
“It’s not really for the party,” he added. “What he is fighting for is to return to power so that he can take care of his court cases.”
Zahid, the former deputy prime minister, is facing a slew of criminal charges including 47 of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering in relation to funds from charity outfit Yayasan Akalbudi.
He has also been slapped with 40 charges in connection with the foreign visa system.
Tajuddin said Zahid had complained to him about the refusal of the government formed after the collapse of Pakatan Harapan to help him in his criminal cases.
He said Umno was also split over whether to suppport Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s candidacy after the resignation of Muhyiddin Yassin, although Bersatu and PAS had expressed their full support for the Bera MP.
This was because Zahid had urged MPs from the party to sign statutory declarations in support of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.
Zahid was also alleged to have brought several names to the palace, including his own and that of Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Tajuddin said there should be no question of wanting an early election as Umno had returned to the core of the government when Ismail was appointed as deputy prime minister and then as prime minister.
He also accused the Umno Supreme Council of being toothless in protecting the interests of the country’s biggest Malay party, saying it only followed Zahid’s orders.