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KAJANG, April 10 ― PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said there was no issue even if a recorded conversation allegedly between him and Umno’s Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were genuine.
After being grilled by moderators of a forum organised by the National Professors Council, Anwar also said the audio clip was not a “big issue” compared to problems faced by the people.
“If it (the audio) is true... if it's true, (then) what's the problem? Is there treachery there? Is there corruption there? Is there a criminal offence? There isn't. “
“What's the matter with him? Distributing, spying on a recording, that's a mistake. Who did it so what if it's genuine?
“Secondly, is it true that this government, the minister of home affairs, the minister of communications is noisy (because of the leak)? Did they ever hear of other audio and video? A lot!
“Apparently, now the political capital is to spread Anwar-Zahid,” he said to answer a number of questions by Prof Datuk Mohamad Agus Yusoff who co-moderated the event.
Anwar also reminded the audience that Perikatan Nasional government was also linked with “audio leaks” purportedly of Prime Minister and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“Who hasn't heard the audio of Tan Sri Muhyiddin linking the name of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, linking to giving ministerial posts and GLCs to Umno?
“(Which) Means, Umno can be bought. So, sometimes if we look at some of the ministers who jumped (to comment on the audio leak) now, not because they want to take care of the Malay Umno members or the people who they supposedly represented. It was a matter of principle,” he said.
An audio recording of a phone conversation between two people with voices resembling that of Anwar and Zahid emerged on the Web this week.
The four-minute clip was first posted on Facebook and started with Zahid’s speech during the recent Umno general assembly, in which he said the party would not accept Anwar, DAP or Bersatu as allies.
It was followed by the phone conversation, with the speaker who sounded like Anwar praising the other for the speech.
Zahid has since expressed his shock and disappointment at the recording, calling it fake and an attempt to weaken and destroy Umno, while Anwar has also rejected the audio recording, similarly calling it fake and slanderous and the latest ploy by “some elements in the government leadership” to damage inter-party ties within the Opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition ahead of GE15.
Several audio clips emerged in May last year purportedly about a Bersatu meeting that occurred before Malaysia's political turmoil in February 2020.
The voice of a man who sounded like Muhyiddin was heard proposing in the meeting that allegedly took place on February 23, for Bersatu to join forces with Umno to form the largest political party in the country.
Though several sources admitted the meeting happened, Muhyiddin has yet to comment on the audio clips.
After the forum today, Mohamad Agus, who is also a political science lecturer from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said he “personally” thought the voices recorded were of Anwar and Zahid.
Although he said there is nothing wrong with the content, he admitted that the leak would also touch on the issue of privacy and security because it involves private phone conversation between two individuals.
“However, I think he (Anwar) should just come clean and admit if the voices are his,” he told the press after the event.