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Zahid admitted to phone call with Anwar, says report

He also admitted to his party leaders that he had signed a statutory declaration in support of the PKR chief as prime minister.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi admitted to his party leaders last night that it was his voice in a recording of a phone conversation that exposed his cooperation with PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim, Utusan Malaysia reports.

The paper quoted a source connected to a member of the Umno Supreme Council as saying that Zahid made the admission during a meeting of Umno MPs at the defence ministry’s Wisma Perwira in Kuala Lumpur last night.

“He said Anwar called him. Ahmad Zahid also admitted that he had signed a statutory declaration in support of Anwar as prime minister,” the source said.

Zahid alongside former leader Najib Razak had gathered with more than 20 Umno MPs yesterday to decide on a proposal for the party to quit the Perikatan Nasional government.

MalaysiaNow reported that MPs and Cabinet members from the party shot down the idea promoted by Zahid and Najib, who have been at the forefront of efforts to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

When it was first reported by MalaysiaNow in April, Zahid had denied that it was him in the recording, saying that he would lodge a police report on the matter.

Anwar meanwhile described the audio recording as part of “sophisticated attempts” to defame him, and said he would let the police investigate.

No police reports were filed by the duo, despite then-police chief Abdul Hamid Bador telling them to come forward and lodge a report if they truly believed they had been slandered.

The four-minute phone call is believed to have taken place hours after Zahid’s closing speech at the Umno general assembly, where he sought a mandate for the decision to cut ties with PN and Bersatu.

Both leaders were heard exchanging pleasantries over the way the Umno delegates had accepted Zahid’s proposal, with Anwar congratulating him and Zahid describing the PKR leader as “my teacher”.

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 arrested under the Internal Security Act following Anwar’s dramatic removal, but later pledged his loyalty to Mahathir and climbed up the political ladder while Anwar served time in prison.

In October last year, MalaysiaNow revealed an explosive letter to the palace from Zahid and Najib, expressing support for Anwar’s bid to become prime minister.