Zahid tricked me into withdrawing support for PN, says Nazri

Umno veteran Nazri Aziz has broken his silence over his move in January to withdraw his support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, saying he was tricked into doing so by party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Nazri, who is Padang Rengas MP, said the move which followed a similar manoeuvre by Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub was part of a plan by Zahid.

“He (Zahid) was the one who planned it. After that he himself did not retract his support.

“He lied. Otherwise why would I want to withdraw my support for no reason? I honestly feel I was tricked,” he told MalaysiaNow.

“This affair was orchestrated by the president,” he said. “Within the group of MPs at the time, the president decided that we would pull out one by one.”

Nazri’s announcement on Jan 12 that he had withdrawn his support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government came hours after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decreed a state of emergency to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Based on the mandate given by my division and the Umno Supreme Council, I would like to announce that I, as chief of the Padang Rengas Umno division and a Barisan Nasional (BN) MP, formally withdraw my support for Muhyiddin Yassin,” the former BN minister said.

He said his present stand is adhere to the decision made at the Umno general assembly earlier this year for the party to remain with the PN government until the 15th general election.

“I follow my party’s decision,” he said. “I am a party man, so I will follow.”

Nazri, who had in the past voiced support for Anwar Ibrahim, said he did so in 2018 in order to save Umno from being blacklisted if the PKR chief became prime minister.

“At that point, I felt there was a need to be close to the next prime minister, and then persuade him not to dissolve Umno.

“The prime minister at the time, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, wanted to dissolve Umno, so I thought I needed to do something to save the party,” he said.

But everything changed after the Pakatan Harapan government collapsed in February last year and Umno became part of the ruling administration once more.

“Now I am confident that Umno will not be dissolved, so I no longer need Anwar,” Nazri said.

He also confirmed reports that he had been the driving force behind the statutory declarations signed by 25 of Umno’s 41 MPs for Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to present the party’s aspirations to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“I took the initiative because I knew that when the Agong met with party leaders, Zahid and his team would say things that we did not agree with.

“I know him,” he said. – MALAYSIA NOW

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