KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has today singled out his former aide, Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, as the “the biggest liar in Malaysian politics”.
In an interview with Malaysiakini, Dr Mahathir was asked to respond to Muhammad Zahid’s remarks that Dr Mahathir’s purported goals of preventing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from becoming prime minister and blocking DAP’s advance in national politics had come to fruition.
Muhammad Zahid, who is now a senator, said that Dr Mahathir was the happiest person but did not show it following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
The Langkawi MP then claimed that it was Muhammad Zahid who wanted to change the government and tried in vain to persuade him to join the move.
“This Zahid is the biggest liar. He is the biggest liar in Malaysian politics.
“He used to support (PKR president) Anwar (Ibrahim), then he went against Anwar. He then supported me, but then went against me. He did all these only for his personal benefit.
“And for that, he is willing to spew all sorts of lies,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying.
Dr Mahathir also disclosed that Muhammad Zahid behaved the way he did because the latter was allegedly facing some problems which he did not elaborate.
The former prime minister then claimed that when he refused to bend the rules to help Muhammad Zahid, the latter became upset.
“He tried to use me for his interest because he has problems. I could not help him. I said that in Malaysia, we have to go according to the law.
“It does not matter whether one is a party member or not, if he does something wrong, then it is wrong.
“But he became upset because of this. And he tried to change the government so that he would be safe. And it is true, he is in a safe position at this moment,” Dr Mahathir said.
In the interview, Dr Mahathir said Muhammad Zahid then plotted with former Umno leader and Larut MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, who defected to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia after PH won the general election in 2018.
To which Hamzah managed to convince Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that there was a workable plan to topple the PH government.
“So, he (Zahid) cooperated with Hamzah to topple Harapan on the pretext that Harapan was dominated by the DAP. Which is totally not true.
“He was of the view that if he can change the government, it would save him. And for this, he tried to convince me, but I never followed (his plan).
“I know about all the things he said, claiming that I wanted to defeat Anwar, that I wanted to bring down the DAP... All these are not true.
“I have no problems with DAP. Anwar has a problem with me, but I do not have a problem with him. And I can’t backstab the rakyat who chose Harapan and made me prime minister,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying.