Nazri hammers Zahid as the chorus to oust Umno president grows

Padang Rengas MP Nazri Abdul Aziz is the latest party leader to openly call for Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s ouster.

Apart from rebelling party leaders, an audio recording allegedly showing Zahid conspiring with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to undermine the PN government was also circulated on social media.

The authenticity of the recording is unverified but its circulation among Umno circles suggests the gloves are off in Umno’s internal tussle.

Nazri warned that BN will have a slim chance of winning the 15th general election if Zahid stays on as the Umno president and BN chairperson.

He also claimed that Zahid no longer commanded respect among BN component parties.

“The BN components do not respect him. Just look at the MIC annual general assembly last weekend, where they invited Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to speak to the delegates.

“If the Umno president and BN chairperson were strong, the component party won’t think of inviting an outsider. It is embarrassing,” Nazri was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.

Umno is in a feud with Bersatu, of which Muhyiddin is the president.

Zahid has steered Umno on a collision course with Bersatu and plans for the Umno-led BN to go head-to-head against the Bersatu-led PN in the 15th general election.

However, Zahid is being hammered by both factions that are supportive or against the move.

Nazri, who in January withdrew his support for Muhyiddin, suggested that Umno deputy president Mohamed Hasan takes over from Zahid.

He said Umno would not be viewed as a clean party so long as Zahid, who has graft charges hanging over his head, remains as their leader.

Yesterday, Simpang Renggam Umno chief Zakaria Dullah was also reported to have openly called for Zahid to step down.

Calls from party members have also been growing against postponing the Umno leadership election in June, as such a move would allow Zahid to stay on as Umno president beyond his three-term limit.

The Umno constitution allows the party election to be postponed for up to 18 months.

Taking to social media, Johor Executive Council member Onn Hafiz Ghazi joined the call to urge Zahid to step down.

“The election is getting closer and the drums have been rolled. The people will definitely want to know who the prime minister candidate is offered by Umno,” said the Layang-Layang state assemblyperson.

Onn Hafiz, who is also Simpang Renggam division deputy chief, said the party election should be held immediately as many perceived that Umno may not stand a chance in winning the polls if the party is being led by Zahid.

“Wouldn’t it be easier if the president steps down in order to save the party?” he said, adding that Umno should have learned its lesson from BN’s defeat in the 2018 general election.

He was referring to Najib Abdul Razak, who led BN into the election battlefield amid the 1MDB scandal.

Zahid is facing 47 charges in court involving criminal breaches of trust, corruption and money laundering of tens of millions of ringgit of Yayasan Akalbudi funds. MKINI

Leaked audio clip of Zahid, Anwar sound-alikes being circulated

PETALING JAYA: An audio clip of a conversation between two voices sounding like Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has gone viral, discussing the former’s performance at the recent Umno annual general meeting (AGM).

The conversation between the two also said there was a need to hold an extraordinary Umno supreme council meeting to mandate the president to enable him to make the decision to leave the Perikatan Nasional government.

Umno’s resolution at its AGM stated that the party will only break ranks with the Perikatan government after the dissolution of the parliament.

The audio clip, which sounded like a telephone conversation, has the voice similar to Ahmad Zahid’s thanking the other for being his “teacher”.

The voice sounding like Anwar then said he was impressed with Ahmad Zahid’s performance during the AGM.

The voice can also be heard saying that Ahmad Zahid must prepare to hold an extraordinary Umno supreme council meeting to iron things out and that he must get one of the Umno ministers to resign from the Perikatan government.

Both, however, agreed that no Umno ministers would resign.

Anwar’s sound-alike pointed out that Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah looks the most likely to be the first to do so.

It also told the other person to tell “Midah that Anwar is very proud of Ahmad Zahid”.

Ahmad Zahid’s wife is Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis.

The conversation, which lasted more than four minutes between the two, was mostly interspersed with happy laughter.

At the beginning, the Anwar sound-alike voice said that this was the first time he was following the Umno AGM after 20 years, having been sacked from Umno in 1998.

The purported Ahmad Zahid then pacified the other that his speech of “No Anwar, No DAP” was only tactical.

At one point, the voice sounding like Anwar said,”Of course, we want to finish the game but if you think of the mandate, there is some work to be done with the Umno supreme council.”

To this, the voice sounding like Ahmad Zahid said that it would be easy to deal with Umno supreme council.

“I heard your speech, not bad, not bad! Good! Good! I am very impressed. I am very proud of you. Your winding up was very confident – good!

“The mood is clear, everyone (in Umno) solidly wants to leave Perikatan, right?” asked the Anwar sound-alike.

The other replied,”When the supreme council gives the mandate to the president, this is easier than getting a resolution.”

The voice that sounded like Anwar also warned that “the game has to finish” and there is still much to be done to get a full mandate from Umno supreme council.

With much laughter, the Ahmad Zahid sound-alike mostly thanked the other for guiding him well during the Umno AGM.

“You know who is my teacher, right? My teacher who taught me is the one I am talking to right now,” said the voice.

On March 28, at the Umno AGM, Ahmad Zahid’s speech called out Umno leaders who insisted on working with Bersatu.

Ahmad Zahid had proposed that all Umno ministers resign from the Perikatan government as he claimed that the one-year-old Bersatu-led government did not give its due to Umno as the biggest Malay party.

Last October, a purported letter of support signed by Ahmad Zahid and sent to the Palace supporting Anwar as the next prime minister was circulated.

Ahmad Zahid never denied the letter, but he has stuck to “No DAP No Anwar” during the Umno supreme council meetings.

In recent days, some Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders had challenged Ahmad Zahid to deny that he was working with Anwar.

Efforts are ongoing to contact Ahmad Zahid and Anwar for their response to the leaked audio clip.