Umno's Nur Jazlan Mohamed has questioned DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke for urging the attorney-general to explain the decision to discontinue the 47 charges against Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Umno Supreme Council member reminded Loke that he had not spoken up when his own party stalwart, Lim Guan Eng, was acquitted in the RM2.8 million Penang bungalow case back in 2018.
"So as a friend of Loke in the unity government, I am trying to refresh his memory of Guan Eng's story. Perhaps Loke has forgotten, considering the case happened some time back – only five years ago," said Nur Jazlan, responding to Loke's statement following the chorus of condemnations that followed the attorney-general's decision to drop the corruption charges against Zahid on Monday.
Lim was charged in 2016 with abusing his position as the Penang chief minister to obtain gratification for himself and his wife with the approval of a land conversion to a private company two years earlier.
The case was dropped on Sept 4, 2018, just four months after Lim was named the finance minister.
Nur Jazlan said Loke should not be worried about Zahid becoming a liability for the federal alliance between Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) ahead of the Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections this Saturday, adding that PH's narrative since 2018 had already destroyed the Umno president's image.
He said Loke's statement in response to the discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) given to Zahid was untimely, and leaders of the PH coalition, including DAP, should be fair to Zahid.
Nur Jazlan, a loyalist of Zahid who recently suggested that DAP's secular agenda is the stumbling block to getting Malay support for the PH-BN alliance, reminded partners in the coalition government of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim not to make statements that could negatively impact the ties between them.
He expressed confidence that PH's chances in the upcoming twin by-elections would not be affected by the DNAA episode.
"But from my observation, from the day Guan Eng was first charged until the charges were dropped by the Attorney-General's Chambers, I saw that the Chinese vote for PH, especially DAP, did not decrease; instead, it increased remarkably in the last general election," he added.
"Just as the Chinese believed in the fairness of our judicial system after Guan Eng's case was dropped, I believe so, too, is the case with regard to Zahid's discharge."