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KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz told Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to step down as Umno president today, saying the latter was now a serious liability to the party.
Speaking to Malay Mail after a purported recording of Zahid in conversation with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emerged online, the former Umno minister said the party must no longer be burdened by Zahid’s unresolved criminal charges.
Zahid is on trial for 47 counts of corruption, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering.
“I don't know. I don't know, but he has to go. Simple as that,” Nazri said, referring to the leaked audio.
“I heard the recording this morning, but of course he denied today, but we shall just give him the benefit of the doubt.
“Other than that, I still believe he should go. There are too many issues on him. Too much baggage which Umno also has to bear. He is a liability,” Nazri said when contacted.
This morning, a four-minute video containing the recorded phone conversation purportedly between Zahid and Anwar was posted online.
The two speakers discussed Zahid’s speech at the Umno assembly declaring that his party would contest the 15th general election on its own, and said this was not an end to their joint efforts.
Zahid has issued a statement rejecting the recording as false and denying he spoke with Anwar after the Umno general assembly, but he is already under attack from those in his party who accused him of conspiring with Umno’s political rivals.
Last month, Anwar disclosed that his PKR and Umno have started preliminary discussions on the possibility of cooperating for the 15th general election.
Publicly, Zahid has denied this repeatedly.