Govt to probe alleged leaked audio clip of Idris Haron and Ismail Sabri’s chat, says deputy communications minister

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Padang Besar MP Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin speaks to reporters at the Umno supreme council meeting at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, October 14, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Padang Besar MP Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin speaks to reporters at the Umno supreme council meeting at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, October 14, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will investigate a leaked audio clip of a conversation supposedly between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

Its deputy minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, when met at Umno headquarters this evening, said investigations will be aimed at identifying the culprit who recorded and leaked the audio clip with telco companies not spared.

“We will investigate whether telecommunication companies are involved in recording, so the minister will see whether there are telco companies involved in the attempt to record these conversations.

“This has happened to Datuk Seri Najib [Razak], then it happened between Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and now it is happening to the prime minister, and this matter is very embarrassing.

“So we don’t want this to happen in the future and we will find a way on how to prevent this from happening that was mentioned,” he said after attending the Umno Supreme Council meeting at their headquarters here tonight.

Zahidi revealed that the Communications and Multimedia Ministry has yet to lodge a police report, then adding that investigations would not be a witch hunt for a particular individual.

“We will investigate but there is no need to arrest anyone because to catch would be difficult from the aspect of a court trial and such where we would have to involve the AG, so if possible we want to avoid this from happening in the future,” he said.

This after audio supposedly featuring voices of Ismail and Idris was recently leaked, with Idris explaining to the prime minister the political climate of Melaka that led to the collapse of the government.

In the eight-minute clip, the voice resembling Idris’ claimed that Umno will not receive sufficient support for the upcoming elections for the “‘lack of leadership qualities” displayed by caretaker chief minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

Idris allegedly claimed that Sulaiman was subservient to the instructions of Melaka Umno liaison chief and former Melaka state legislative assembly speaker Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh instead of leading the charge as the chief minister.

The need for a new Melaka government, which would be the third in as many years, was triggered by the withdrawal of support for Umno’s Sulaiman by four assemblymen, causing him to lose the majority.

The four are Datuk Seri Idris Haron (Sungai Udang), Datuk Noor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundur), Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas), and Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu).

Idris, a former chief minister, and Noor Azman were later sacked by Umno for their betrayal of the BN-led government, while Noor Effandi was also dismissed by Bersatu. Norhizam, formerly from DAP, is an independent.

Following their withdrawal, Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam consented to the dissolution of the state assembly, which triggered the requirement for snap polls within 60 days.

The Election Commission have yet to announce if elections will be held, and are slated to meet to decide on the matter on Monday.

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