: Former deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, today denied UMNO is 'lobbying' for the number two seat in the government.
He said, UMNO had instead submitted the names of several Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin a few days ago to pick the most qualified individual.
"That is the discretion of the prime minister to decide who will be appointed after taking into account some considerations from the list," he said after attending a hearing of his case at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex in Jalan Duta here.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the UMNO president and BN chairman is facing 47 charges, 12 of which were for breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving funds owned by the Akalbudi Foundation.
Muhyiddin, in his first speech after being appointed prime minister, had made it clear that only those who were clean, persons of caliber and integrity would be appointed members of his Cabinet.
The statement seems to give the impression that the UMNO president who is standing trial would be excluded from the new Cabinet.
Ahmad Zahid had previously described the charges against him as political persecution.
The Bagan Datuk MP has also said that he will be clearing his name in court without hoping for his case to be dropped.