BN statutory declarations to check Anwar’s PM ambition, claims Umno deputy minister

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Another Umno MP spoke up today about the much-talked about statutory declarations (SDs) signed by 25 Barisan Nasional (BN) elected representatives recently.

Padang Besar MP Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin claimed the SD collection, purportedly masterminded by Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, was to forestall a possible move to make Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim the next prime minister with the supposed “blessings” of Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“Earlier, we were instructed by the Umno president to resign from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government and asked all MPs in the government to no longer support the PN.

“However, all the BN MPs involved refused to do so because we think that if Umno and BN do not support the PN government, then who do they want to support?

“We are of the view that Zahid supports Anwar because many incidents show his tendency to support Anwar… evidence that Zahid sent a letter from BN MPs supporting Anwar to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last year and evidence of audio recordings of their conversations this year.

“Therefore, the SD collection was made to state our real stance in rejecting the establishment of a new government or Anwar as the new prime minister,” Zahidi told Sinar Harian.

Last Tuesday, Nazri touted himself as the mastermind in obtaining SDs from 25 BN MPs to support Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein as a leader, but not as the next prime minister as alleged.

The Padang Rengas MP claimed that BN lawmakers had lost confidence in Zahid to represent them in his audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong earlier this month.

Zahidi seconded Nazri, saying the SDs were to support Hishammuddin to replace Zahid as their representative with the King if another audience were granted.

The deputy communications and multimedia minister also said the SD collection was based on an understanding that it would be used if Zahid attempted to resurrect an older collection of SDs made by some BN MPs backing Anwar last year.

Zahidi said the latest SDs would be used to explain the situation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong if another royal audience were granted.

He said it can also be used as a reference for the appointment of a deputy prime minister if needed and added that he had also proposed Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as a potential candidate for that post.

“We want to prove that any SD involving 25 BN MPs, if submitted by Anwar within, can no longer be used as the letter of declaration of mandate to Hishammuddin is more accurate and up-to-date.

“Answering the question of the SD collection will also focus on determining the appointment of the DPM in the future if it is necessary. I think those who ‘sign’ the SDs will definitely agree if Hishammuddin is elected as the DPM,” he was quoted as saying.

Hishamuddin’s office today lodged a police report over a viral letter to seek audience with the Agong as he had received support from the MPs to be PM with Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali from Bersatu as deputy prime minister, calling it fake and a political attempt to slander his name. – MALAY MAIL

by Radzi Razak

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