KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied recent allegations by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that he had asked the Opposition leader to drop his criminal cases in exchange for his support of Anwar’s bid to become prime minister in 2020.
The Pekan MP also stressed that he had never asked anyone to interfere in his criminal cases through political influence, Sinar Harian reported today.
“What Nuar (Anwar) has said is untrue. I have never asked anyone to drop my cases through political influence. I am a party member, and I will always abide by the party’s decision,” he was quoted as saying.
On Thursday, Anwar, who is also the Port Dickson MP, claimed that Najib had signed a statutory declaration (SD) in 2020 in support of him becoming prime minister, but on condition that the latter’s criminal cases were dropped.
However, Anwar said he refused to comply with Najib and viewed it as the reason why he failed in his quest to oust then prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In the same report, Najib said that Anwar’s claim that he had the backing of enough MPs to become prime minister was suspect.
He said if Anwar had the support claimed, then Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, would have undoubtedly appointed him to the post.
“But I (felt it was) weird. If what Anwar said was true — that he had the support of 120 MPs — why didn’t Istana Negara appoint him as prime minister?
“And why didn’t he prove this support through votes in Parliament, including scuppering the Budget 2021 vote at that time?” he said.
In 2020, Anwar claimed to have a “strong and convincing” majority to form the next government to replace Muhyiddin’s administration and was mocked after the takeover never materialised.
This week, however, Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman corroborated Anwar’s claim during a press conference held in retaliation for his removal from the Umno supreme council on party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s orders.
Tajuddin said he was among 15 Umno MPs, including Najib and Ahmad Zahid, who signed the SDs affirming said support for Anwar.