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Anwar in pact to get Zahid off the hook if PH wins, Mahathir says it again

The former prime minister says talks for cooperation have already been held between the two leaders.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
2 minute read
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Photo: Bernama
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Photo: Bernama

Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Anwar Ibrahim will help dismiss Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s court cases and free Najib Razak from jail if he receives the support to become prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today in a fresh attack against his nemesis' bid for the top post.

The former prime minister said he had learnt that Anwar and Zahid had already held talks about working together, adding that this was one of the reasons why the people should reject PH at the upcoming polls. 

“Why would Anwar become prime minister instead of Zahid?” he said in a speech at Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

“Because the prime minister will ask the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a pardon for Najib, who is languishing in jail, and abort all of the cases he still faces. 

“Anwar will also work to get rid of the charges against Zahid and several other Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders.”

Mahathir, who served as prime minister twice for a total of 24 years, had joined PH in the 2018 polls, toppling more than six decades of BN rule.

But pressure from his Cabinet members loyal to Anwar to appoint the PKR leader as prime minister in line with a succession plan agreed to by PH soon led to the collapse of Mahathir's government.

His remarks echoed those of Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin, who earlier warned Umno members of a possible cooperation between their party president Zahid and Anwar if BN lacked the votes to form the government on its own after the polls. 

Many political analysts have not ruled out such a possibility, pointing to the two leaders' close ties dating back to their Umno days.

In 2020, MalaysiaNow revealed a joint letter by Najib and Zahid in support of Anwar as prime minister as part of a bid to topple Muhyiddin at the height of the pandemic.

Last year, meanwhile, an explosive telephone conversation between Zahid and Anwar showed the two leaders involved in a plan to get Umno leaders’ support for a motion to cut ties with Bersatu, which laid the foundation for the collapse of the PN government in August.