SEMENYIH, Feb 19 — Umno leader Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has disputed PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan’s statement about his party supporting Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Takiyuddin had said that PAS would back PH leader and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad until the next general election, even as it was initially believed that the Islamist party was supporting Umno in the current Semenyih by-election against Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).
“It’s pretty obvious that what PAS secretary-general said doesn’t reflect the true story behind his statement.
“If people want to interpret their statement as such (throwing backing behind PH), then I’m sure eventually the people are smart enough figure out what’s real and what’s fake,” said Zahid when speaking to reporters after having dinner at Razak Capati in Semenyih.
Zahid, who is Umno president, has been on garden leave as he is facing trial to 45 charges ranging from offences under the Penal Code, to the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing, and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
He said he has been to Semenyih three times including today as a concerned citizen and member of Umno, but not to campaign for anyone.
“It’s my third time in Semenyih and I’m not here to help the BN (Barisan Nasional) or Umno machinery for these upcoming elections,” said Zahid.
“I may be on leave but I’ve never taken leave as an Umno member.”
To a question on how long his leave will last Zahid said: “We shall see.”
The Semenyih by-election on March 2 followed the death of its incumbent from PPBM, Bakhtiar Mohd Nor, on January 11 from a heart attack.
The by-election is seeing a four-cornered fight between Muhammad Aiman Zainali (PH), Zakaria Hanafi (BN), Kuan Chee Heng (Independent) and Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul (Parti Sosialis Malaysia).