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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Anwar: Najib retracted support because I declined to meddle in court cases


Opposition chief Anwar Ibrahim today revealed that he had the support of 120 MPs, including 15 from Umno, to become prime minister in 2020, but the number was reduced after he declined to meddle in Najib Abdul Razak's court cases.

Speaking to reporters in Port Dickson, the MP said Najib and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were among those who had thrown their support behind him.

However, according to Anwar, the Umno MPs did not submit their statutory declarations (SD) to Istana Negara through him but instead sent them directly to the palace.

"Not all the SDs were sent through me, there were also those who sent the declaration directly to the palace, including the 15 from Umno.

"However, even though the number of support had come to 120, Pakatan Harapan was holding to a principle that we would never accept SD from Najib and Zahid.

"While they still have the right to sign SD in support of anyone, on the Harapan side, we did not accept their support, albeit them having sent the SDs directly to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. So, minus the two, we still had 118,” he told reporters when met during an event.

‘Use power as PM’

Anwar claimed that he was asked to use his power if he becomes prime minister to confirm that court cases especially involving Najib would not be continued.

"I was not ready to do this. So, even though I already had enough numbers and my road to become prime minister was clear, I was not ready to compromise the independence of our judiciary," he added.

The opposition leader was asked to respond to a revelation made by former Umno Supreme Council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, who on Monday confirmed that there was a move to support Anwar as prime minister by Umno MPs in 2020.

According to Tajuddin, who is Pasir Salak MP, he was pressured by Zahid into signing SD in support of Anwar, and Najib was among those who had also supported the opposition chief.

Anwar said Tajuddin's press conference on Monday also confirmed that he had indeed secured enough support to become PM two years ago.

He also said the allegation that Harapan was willing to work with anyone including those with corruption cases to get into power is also not true. - Mkini

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