Former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has denied assertions made by three witnesses brought in by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar that he had planned to topple Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the Umno presidency post in 1998.
Testifying in his defamation suit against Khairy at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today, he said the assertions were false and politically created following his sacking in 1998.
“There was no (Umno) party election in 1998. The party supreme council had then decided there is no contest for the post of president and deputy president.
He further claimed that the issue of him challenging Mahathir never did arise, despite several of then party vice-presidents Najib (Abdul Razak), Muhyiddin (Yassin) and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wanting him to bring several issues concerning Proton, Perwaja, Bakun Dam and others to the party president.
“I was asked by the vice-presidents to relate to the PM (Mahathir) the views of (several) leader and grassroots. Despite this, the issue of challenging the president did not arise,” he said.
He was responding to testimonies made by Lokman Adam, Ishak Ismail (Lenggeng assemblyperson) and Ali Shikh who testified in court earlier that Ezam Mohd Noor had told them that Anwar wanted to topple Mahathir.