Zahid will be prime minister if BN wins: Anwar
Opposition leader makes claim although Umno has named Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as PM candidate
KUALA LUMPUR – Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be prime minister if Barisan Nasional (BN) wins the 15th general election, said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Speaking at a ceramah in Tapah, Perak last night, the opposition leader did not back up his claim, but said it was evident that BN wanted an early election this year so that it could regain power.
“If BN wins, Zahid will be PM. If Perikatan (Nasional) wins, it will be (Tan Sri) Muyiddin (Yassin),” he said.
“If Pakatan Harapan (PH) wins, it will be me-lah,” the PH chairman and PKR president added, drawing laughter and cheers from the crowd.
Umno had previously named its vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is currently caretaker prime minister, as its prime minister candidate.
Prior to dissolving Parliament on October 10, Ismail Sabri had been facing pressure from Zahid to hold GE15 this year.
The Umno president, who has two corruption cases pending in the courts, has been the most vocal in demanding early polls, while the opposition parties, and even other parties in government, have disagreed, citing the high risk of floods during the year-end monsoon season.
Umno was forced to deny that Zahid would be prime minister instead of Ismail Sabri, after a fake viral message circulated last month following the former’s acquittal on 40 corruption charges related to the contract of a company operating a foreign visa system.
The prosecution has filed an appeal.
Zahid’s other ongoing corruption trial involves 47 charges of money laundering, criminal breach of trust, and corruption involving funds from the Yayasan Akalbudi foundation.
Umno’s critics such as veteran opposition politician Lim Kit Siang have accused Zahid of wanting early polls to gamble on BN’s return to power as a way out of his and other Umno figures’ corruption trials.
– The Vibes, October 15, 2022