: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today revealed that a former UMNO leader was the real mastermind behind a plot to topple Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Ahmad Zahid said that he had enough evidence in the form of recordings that the former leader was the one who suggested to him that the Prime Minister be brought down through a vote-of-no-confidence in Parliament at the time.
"My conversation on this with the former leader was recorded and the tape is still with me. At the time, I was just into my 10th day as Deputy Prime Minister.
"Does it make sense that I would want to topple Najib when I was just appointed DPM," he said when opening Jerlun UMNO delegates conference at Sekolah Menengah Sains Kubang Pasu here today.
Also present was Jerlun UMNO chief Datuk Abu Hassan Sharif.
Recently, former prime minister and former UMNO president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is now leading the opposition, had claimed that Ahmad Zahid had come to see him soon after he was appointed as DPM to seek his (Dr Mahathir's ) blessings to topple Najib. Dr Mahathir at the time was still with UMNO.
Commenting on the matter, Ahmad Zahid said the former leader should speak the truth on what really transpired then.
"I am not out for revenge but I want UMNO members and the people to know that the liar is him . He was the one who wanted to topple Najib .
"I am not the type that bites the hand that feeds me and I am also not a self-serving person," he said.
Ahmad Zahid, who described himself as the "bait", said he would never forget what transpired in his meeting with Dr Mahathir.
He added that he did not reveal the matter to the public because Dr Mahathir was still with UMNO then.
He further revealed that if the vote-of-no-confidence move failed, the second option of the plotters was to send a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to sack Najib as prime minister. (Both plots did not materialise)
The Deputy Prime Minister also expressed surprise that the matter was being raised by Dr Mahathir two years after their meeting.
"Suddenly he is saying that I was the one who planned to topple the prime minister and this why I am asking him not say lies," he said.
Ahmad Zahid also reminded the people not to allow outside parties to take advantage of the situation to oust the existing government.
"I am confident that the people will still be with us (UMNO) but they must ensure that others are not allowed to damage the country and take over the government," he said.
On other matters, Ahmad Zahid said that he was confident the Jerlun parliamentary seat would remain with UMNO/Barisan Nasional in the next election based on the solidarity shown by the UMNO members and leaders.