Zahid does not endorse Umno MPs support for Dr Mahathir

(The Star) – Calls for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to serve his full term as premier isn’t Umno’s official stand, says party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“That is not Umno’s official stand and I respect any personal opinion. At present, our stand is that we will respect the present government,” he told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby on Thursday (Oct 24).

Earlier in Parliament on Thursday (Oct 24), several Umno MPs told a press conference that they wanted Dr Mahathir to serve as prime minister until the next general election.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid also shot down speculation that former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is trying to get 30 MPs from Umno and Barisan Nasional to support Dr Mahathir to remain as premier for a full term.

“As a country that practises democracy, I’m confident that the democratic system through general elections is the foundation to the formation of a government.

“I don’t think that speculation is reality,” said Ahmad Zaid.

The Bagan Datuk MP added that Pakatan Harapan leaders shouldn’t be too concerned about the speculation.

“Don’t be worried because the speculation will not happen if it is unrequited,” he said.

Also on Thursday (Oct 24), The Malaysian Insight reported that as early as last year, Hishammuddin had started to garner support from Umno MPs in order to stop PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from being appointed prime minister.

Quoting a source, the news portal reported that a “backdoor government” without Parti Amanah Negara and DAP can be formed as early as November when Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia garners 60 parliamentary seats as a result of a speculated crossover.

Hishammuddin had previously denied involvement in any plot to oust DAP and Amanah from Pakatan to form a “backdoor government”.

In a statement last Thursday (Oct 15), Pakatan leaders reaffirmed that the coalition would still include DAP and Amanah, and urged Opposition politicians to stop their alleged campaign to oust these two parties.