Zahid dismisses talk of arrest warrant for ex-DPM

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (third from left) at his first press conference as Deputy Prime Minister yesterday, along with police chief Khalid Abu Bakar (right) and officials from the Sabah government and Home Ministry. Mr Zahid said there was no a
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (third from left) at his first press conference as Deputy Prime Minister yesterday, along with police chief Khalid Abu Bakar (right) and officials from the Sabah government and Home Ministry. Mr Zahid said there was no arrest warrant for his predecessor and warned that action would be taken against irresponsible parties for spreading such rumours.PHOTO: SIN CHEW DAILY

New Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said his pre- decessor's claims about money transfers into the account of Prime Minister Najib Razak were the words of a sad man who just got sacked.

In his first press conference as Deputy PM, he dismissed talk that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would be arrested .

Datuk Seri Zahid said he understood Mr Muhyiddin's situation. "I understand that in a sad situation, anyone in that situation would just express what he is feeling," he said.

A video of Mr Muhyiddin talking to several guests surfaced on Wednesday in which he claimed that Datuk Seri Najib had "admitted" that funds worth US$700 million (S$960 million) were deposited into his personal account.

The clip with poor audio showed Mr Muhyiddin speaking to guests in his home, including Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, about the money that The Wall Street Journal had alleged on July 3 was deposited into Mr Najib's accounts over the past two years.

After Mr Muhyiddin was dropped from the Cabinet and the video leak emerged, rumours spread that he would be arrested.

Mr Zahid told The Star newspaper yesterday there was no arrest warrant for Mr Muhyiddin as there is no reason for it and warned that action would be taken against irresponsible parties for spreading such rumours.

"This rumour is totally nonsense. I had called the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police to verify the allegation, and they answered in the negative," Mr Zahid was quoted as saying.

"I then called Tan Sri (Muhyiddin) personally at 2am (on Thursday) to assure him and his wife that the police were not coming after them," Mr Zahid added.

Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said that no offence was committed in the audio recording which went viral.

"In the first place, (it's) just a short recording of a videotaped conversation mentioning certain amount of money has been transferred into somebody's account. I don't think that constitutes any offence," he said.

Though ousted as the deputy prime minister, Mr Muhyiddin still holds the post of deputy president of Umno. According to Mr Zahid, Mr Muhyiddin remains loyal to Umno and has said that he would support efforts to block a vote of no-confidence against Mr Najib in Parliament, which is being proposed by the opposition.

"Actually, his stand is very clear, as the deputy president of Umno. He supports any step and action by the party. In fact, he said if there should be any party that wants to bring forward a vote of no-confidence, he would give his support so that a no-confidence vote will not happen," said Mr Zahid.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2015, with the headline 'Zahid dismisses talk of arrest warrant for ex-DPM'. Print Edition | Subscribe