UMNO believes its president, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was a victim of political prosecution during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s second term as the 7th prime minister.
Umno secretary-general Datuk Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki stated that Ahmad Zahid’s release clearly shows the eagerness of Dr Mahathir’s leadership and BERSATU to persecute Umno leaders by strengthening the legal institutions in the country.
This is supported by the fact that the charges against Ahmad Zahid arose just a few weeks after Dr Mahathir, as the chairman of BERSATU, threatened that Umno’s President should dissolve the party in a meeting acknowledged by himself in a media interview.
“This is further reinforced by the audacious and arrogant revelations of the former Attorney- General appointed by Dr Mahathir in his memoir ‘My Story: Justice in the Wilderness,’ which clearly acknowledges direct involvement in orchestrating selected prosecutions against influential political figures during the tenure of the 7th prime minister.
“Unfortunately, this political prosecution continued even after Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed as prime minister, despite the appointments of Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Tan Sri Azam Baki as the new Attorney-General and Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) respectively, replacing Tommy Thomas and Latheefa Koya,” he said in a statement on his social media, here, on Monday.
The Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was discharged not amounting to an acquittal by the High Court from 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving the Yayasan Akalbudi funds that he had established.
udge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah discharged Ahmad Zahid, 70, who is also the Minister of Rural and Regional Development, after allowing deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar’s application, stating that the Attorney-General’s Chambers wanted to discontinue all proceedings against Ahmad Zahid at this stage.
For the record, the Shah Alam High Court had previously acquitted the Umno president of 40 charges that were found to have no basis and prima facie evidence for criminal prosecution on Sept 23, 2022.
Asyraf Wajdi stated that despite both the Attorney-General and the Chief Commissioner of the MACC being retained by the 10th prime minister, they eventually made the right decision by discontinuing the prosecution.
“Furthermore, one of the 11 reasons given by the deputy public prosecutor to discontinue the prosecution acknowledges that the rushed prosecution, despite incomplete investigations, could undermine the credibility of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the MACC.
“This is as if confirming a leaked briefing memo (if its authenticity is true) a few weeks ago prepared by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib for the then Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, which actually suggested that no charges could be made against Ahmad Zahid because there was no evidence or proof of any criminal wrongdoing.
However, just two days after the date of the memo being presented to the Attorney-General, the prosecution proceeded in haste, as if there were sinister and malicious invisible hands giving instructions,” he said.
He further emphasised that with Ahmad Zahid’s release, Umno hopes that the country’s justice system and institutions that can be easily manipulated will be rectified.
“Umno firmly believes that under the unity government, all political prosecutions that manipulate institutions that are the bastion of the justice system will no longer occur.
“The Attorney-General’s Chambers and MACC must remain independent and courageous in fulfilling their responsibilities to dispense justice without fear or favour, even towards Umno leaders and Umno members themselves,” he added.