Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s recent speech has come under scrutiny after he suggested that BN leaders could face criminal trials if their coalition loses the next general election.
Speaking at the MIC annual delegates assembly on Monday, Zahid said this can only be avoided if BN has a “dominant victory” at the polls.
“Candidates from MIC, Umno, MCA and PBRS have to win in a dominant fashion. It’s now or never. This election is the mother of all general elections. If we fail, our fate will be worse than the last election.
“Right now, only I will be charged, Tok Mat (Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan), you are on the waiting list, Vicky (MIC president SA Vigneswaran) don’t laugh, you are also included. What more (MIC deputy president M) Saravanan?
“(MCA president Wee) Ka Siong? They won’t forget you. You will be charged as well. (Defence minister) Hisham (Hishammuddin Hussein), don’t smile.
“To avoid this, we have to win in a dominant manner, my brothers and sisters,” Zahid added.
Incumbent Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang described Zahid’s speech as a “brutally frank” admission that the Umno leadership wanted an immediate election to save the “court cluster” from being charged in court.
“After Zahid’s brutally frank speech at the MIC congress, there is no need for any other BN manifesto for the next election but only one – ‘Free Umno and BN court clusters from being charged in court and sent to jail’,” Lim said in a statement.
Zahid’s speech also drew criticism from incumbent Klang MP Charles Santiago, who is accusing the former of forcing a general election to “sanitise” his reputation.
“We have seen democracy under siege in Southeast Asia due to fierce geopolitical competition, inability to accede to a smooth transition of power and of course, corruption being the order of the day.
“But Zahid’s power grab takes the cake. He edged former prime minister and Bersatu leader Muhyiddin Yassin out and held caretaker premier Ismail Sabri Yaakob under siege,” said Charles in a statement. – Malaysiakini