Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today claimed to have been “threatened” in 2018 about what would happen to him if he did not comply with then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s request to dissolve Umno.
Claiming that his ongoing corruption and money laundering trial is a politically-motivated persecution, Zahid in testifying in his own defence said that he had privately met with Mahathir sometime in June 2018 at the insistence of two individuals.
The two individuals had relayed the message that Mahathir allegedly wanted to meet him, and that it was only after the duo’s third attempt that he then met with Mahathir.
“That meeting was a four-eyed meeting. Tun Mahathir said that allegedly it was because I asked to meet, he said he want to meet with anyone. Although in reality, those two persons said Tun Mahathir wanted to meet with me, that means those two persons lied to Tun Mahathir and to me.
“In that four-eyed meeting, Tun Mahathir said to me that Umno has no future, Umno is dead, Umno has already been rejected by the Malays and voters; BN has been buried, because from 13 component parties there are now four left, and he clearly asked me to party hop, leave Umno and join PPBM,” he told the High Court, referring to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia which Mahathir was chairing at that time.
“He said that Umno is already not trusted, Umno is already not relevant, Umno is a parti perompak (party of robbers), Umno is a parti penyamun (party of bandits), Umno is a party of corrupters, Umno is a party that is already disgusting and dirty, these words I still remember today.
“Not just that, he said because Umno has no future, as the person carrying out the duties of the Umno president, he asked for Umno to be dissolved and asked me to tell all Umno members to join PPBM under the name of ‘Malays’, and he said forget Umno because Umno is too dirty. That is what was said to me,” he related.
Zahid said he, however, told Mahathir that he would not dissolve Umno.
“I was not willing for Umno that has been trusted since 1946 to be buried just like that, I said I don’t want. If I joined PPBM, if Umno was cancelled, then if it is fated that tomorrow I die, my grave would be flooded.
“He asked why would it be flooded, I said 3.8 million Umno members will all come to my grave and urinate on my grave. Because of that, I was not willing for Umno to be buried and to save myself by joining PPBM,” Zahid said.
“After the meeting with Tun Mahathir, I was threatened, that if I don’t jump to PPBM and if I don’t dissolve Umno, something would be done to me,” Zahid added.
Months after allegedly refusing to dissolve Umno, Zahid was first charged in October 2018, and later continued to be prosecuted.