“The next day the officers came again. They came with another letter and asked him to sign it saying that he resigned willingly and without any pressure. It was pointing a gun to his head. He will never forget that”
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today there has never been animosity between him and his deputy, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Najib who is also Umno president said he has always trusted Zahid and they have been close since the 1980s, despite former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir claiming that the latter had tried to take Najib down.
“He is my friend. He is my ally. We have been through hardships before, I don’t need to go into details.
“The top leadership in Umno is strong. I believe in my deputy Zahid,” Najib said when officiating the Shah Alam Umno division meet here.
Dr Mahathir claimed last week that after being made deputy prime minister, Zahid had secretly met him to ask for help to oust Najib.
But Najib today said he was confident Zahid would never backstab him. On the contrary, he pointed out that it was Dr Mahathir who had Zahid arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) — abolished in 2012 — and forced the latter to resign as Umno youth chief.
“He sent two Special Branch officers to go and see Zahid. They told him ‘if you want to come out of ISA early, sign the resignation letter for Umno youth chief’’.
“Zahid is also human. As brave as he is, but he has to think about his wife and kids. He signed it and let go of his post.
“The next day the officers came again. They came with another letter and asked him to sign it saying that he resigned willingly and without any pressure. It was pointing a gun to his head. He will never forget that,” Najib said.
The Pekan MP said Dr Mahathir always wanted to be in full control even when the latter was not in power.
As example, Najib listed Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tun Musa Hitam and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as among several Malay leaders with whom he said Dr Mahathir had quarrelled with.
He also revealed that Dr Mahathir spoke ill about his mentor Tun Hussien Onn behind his back even when he was understudy to the then prime minister.
“Even Hussein Onn also he criticised. Not openly, of course, but I know it was done behind Hussien Onn’s back,” Najib said.
Source: The Malay Mail Online