PETALING JAYA- Former Umno division leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan (pic) has hit out at Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who claimed that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had asked Umno parliamentarians to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi).
Khairuddin slammed Dr Ahmad Zahid in a strongly worded statement and called him a “liar”.
“Dr Mahathir has never asked Umno Members of Parliament to cross over to Pribumi,” said Khairuddin in a statement Wednesday.
He was referring to a video of a speech by Dr Ahmad Zahid, where he told Selangor Umno members on Wednesday (June 20) night that Dr Mahathir had asked Umno parliamentarians to join Pribumi.
In the speech, he also claimed he did not ask to meet with Dr Mahathir earlier this month, but had in fact been invited by the Prime Minister.
“In the meeting, the Prime Minister asked for Barisan Nasional MPs to cross over to Pribumi, especially those from Umno.
“I made it very clear that there was no way that we will join Pribumi,” he added.
Dr Mahathir is the chairman of Pribumi.
However, Khairuddin also denied that Dr Ahmad Zahid had been invited to meet with Dr Mahathir, but instead had “begged” to meet the Prime Minister.
“After begging to see Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, I finally arranged for him to meet the Prime Minister and was later attacked by Umno members,” he said.
Khairuddin added that Dr Ahmad Zahid’s speech has “no basis” and accused him of lying to Umno members for his “political survival”.
Dr Ahmad Zahid met with Dr Mahathir on June 7, and posted a picture of the two of them together, commenting that he hoped the meeting would “bring benefits to all”.
Dr Mahathir previously said he had met with Dr Ahmad Zahid because the former deputy prime minister had voiced his interest in supporting the new Government.
Dr Ahmad Zahid is among the candidates vying for the Umno president post in the upcoming party elections.
Attempts to reach him for his comments on Khairuddin’s accusations were unsuccessful as at press time.- The Star Online