PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim has denied an audio recording revealing a conversation with Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the wake of the Malay party’s general assembly, calling it “Bersatu politics” to attack Umno leaders.
He also spoke of more sophisticated attempts now to defame him, saying he would hand over the matter to the police for investigation.
“This is to use us to oppose politics in Umno, to use my supposed conversation with Zahid for Bersatu politics to stab the Umno leadership.
“This is not my work. Therefore I will instruct my officer to make a police report to investigate who the source of this,” he said in a speech at the opening ceremony of the Selangor PKR main operations room last night.
Yesterday, MalaysiaNow revealed that the two leaders had spoken in a four-minute phone conversation in which Anwar congratulated Zahid on his closing speech at the Umno general assembly and told him that there was still work to be done.
Zahid later denied the conversation, calling its circulation a vile and malicious political move.
“As Umno president, I would never challenge let alone turn my back on any decision made by the Supreme Council and the general assembly,” he said.
The assembly had seen delegates expressing support for the move to cut ties with Bersatu at the next general election, with Zahid declaring that the motion had been unanimously accepted.
He, too, said his officer would lodge a police report to facilitate an investigation into the matter.
Zahid was Anwar’s key ally during their time in Umno when it was headed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the 1990s. Anwar at that time was seen as the successor to the top post before Mahathir sacked him from both party and government in 1998.
Zahid was among Anwar’s associates who were arrested under the Internal Security Act following Anwar’s dramatic removal. He later pledged loyalty to Mahathir and climbed up the political ladder while Anwar served time in prison.