Zahid calls claim of SDs by 25 Umno MPs against him a ‘cartoon story’

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Statutory declarations (SDs) by 25 Umno MPs stating their loss of confidence in Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is a “cartoon story”, the party president said.

He brushed aside claims by Padang Rengas MP Nazri Abdul Aziz, who yesterday admitted he had collected 25 SDs from party lawmakers in support of Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein because they had lost confidence in Zahid to lead the party.

Raja Faisal Hishan/The Star

“Loss of confidence against another MP? What a cartoon story,” Zahid, who is Bagan Datuk MP, was reported saying by Utusan.

Nazri yesterday said the SDs were not to topple the Perikatan Nasional government nor to push Hishammuddin for prime minister, but because Zahid had his own agenda with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to make Anwar the next prime minister.

“I can confirm that I have been gathering the SDs (for Hishammuddin) for the past two weeks after the ling decided to meet all the political party leaders on June 9.

“Our objective is to show that we have lost confidence in Zahid, who represented Umno when he met the king,” Nazri said yesterday.

A letter to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong bearing Zahid and Barisan Nasional adviser Najib Razak’s signatures stating that Umno MPs had shifted support to Anwar went viral in October last year. It was denounced as a fake by Zahid.

Nazri said this caused him to lose confidence in Zahid’s leadership, and admitted to collecting the SDs from Umno MPs after party secretary-general Ahmad Maslan reeled last week that there was a group gathering the declarations to topple the government.

Nazri has been critical of Zahid’s leadership, calling for his resignation repeatedly.