JOHOR BARU, Dec 5 — Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno leaders were at risk of becoming victims of political revenge by their Perikatan Nasional (PN) rivals if they did not agree to the King’s proposal for a unity government, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said today.
The Johor Umno deputy chief said BN chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Umno president, had sacrificed a lot after the party’s defeat in the 2018 national polls, including playing an important role in the formation of a unity government.
“If it were not for Ahmad Zahid’s decision to agree to the proposal of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to establish a unity government with Pakatan Harapan, perhaps BN and Umno leaders will continue to be victims of political revenge by our opponents, especially Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang from Perikatan Nasional.
“It is possible that many more Umno people will become victims of political prosecution like the one faced by Ahmad Zahid himself.
“Umno and BN should be grateful to Ahmad Zahid for saving the party from destruction,” Nur Jazlan said in a statement.
He was commenting on the appointment of Ahmad Zahid as first deputy prime minister. The newly-formed unity government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has 28 ministers, making it a smaller Cabinet compared to the 31 ministers in the previous administration. However, Anwar chose to appoint two deputies. The second DPM is Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu vice-president Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
Nur Jazlan also pointed out that it was Ahmad Zahid who saved Umno from being buried by former Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after BN’s defeat in the 14th general election. He said if Ahmad Zahid was indeed greedy for power and only thinking about his own interests, the year 2018 could have been the end of Umno. “
Ahmad Zahid was firm and lived by the principle of struggle. Despite being given various offers by Dr Mahathir to disband Umno after GE14, he refused.
“As a result of his love for the party, Ahmad Zahid became a victim of selective prosecution for rejecting Dr Mahathir’s wishes.
“In short, Zahid’s fate is the same as Anwar and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s because they did not follow the advice of an old man, thus they were pressured and stabbed,” said Nur Jazlan.
He was referring to the combination that was dubbed Umno’s Team Wawasan back in 1993 during Dr Mahathir’s first stint as prime minister under the BN government. Apart from Anwar and Ahmad Zahid, its two other members were Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir. Nur Jazlan said he also does not care if he is seen as a loyalist to Ahmad Zahid.
“There are also people who accuse me of being stupid for still following Ahmad Zahid. But one thing I remember is his great service.
“He was always with me in times of trouble and in times of joy. He never forgot the services of my late father and he never left me even when he was at the top of his career,” he said.
Nur Jazlan’s father was the late Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat, a well-known Umno veteran who had served as information minister under two prime ministers Tun Hussein Onn and Dr Mahathir.