Malaysia's Umno president Zahid demands apologies from Muhyiddin and Mahathir

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi served letters of demand to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over remarks they had made in talks during the Johor election. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIT RAJA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Two former prime ministers - Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad - have been served letters of demand by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid wants both of them to apologise over allegations made during recent talks in the Johor election.

On Feb 16, Mr Muhyiddin claimed during a ceramah (political rally) that Zahid had visited his home, bringing along files, and seeking help from him.

He said he refused to help, prompting Zahid to back efforts to oust him as prime minister.

Mr Muhyiddin quit as prime minister on Aug 15 last year after a group of Umno MPs, including Zahid, withdrew their support for him, costing him his majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

In the case of Dr Mahathir, he told reporters on Feb 23 that Zahid was looking for ways to drop corruption charges against him after Pakatan Harapan came to power.

Dr Mahathir claimed that Zahid visited him at his house, along with three others.

Zahid has denied these accusations.

He is facing 47 counts of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and bribery over tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi, a charitable organisation he founded.

He is also facing 40 charges of bribery involving more than RM43 million (S$14 million) over a foreign visa system.

Zahid's lawyers have sent the letters to them, he told reporters on Sunday (Feb 27).

He maintained that he never went to see Mr Muhyiddin with files of court documents.

Lawyers representing Zahid, Messrs Shahrul Hamidi & Haziq, issued a statement on Sunday, saying that the letters of demand were linked to remarks made by Mr Muhyiddin on Feb 16 at Felda Tenggaroh, Johor, which they said were "unsubstantiated, malicious and defamatory".

The notice dated Feb 23 states that Mr Muhyiddin has been given seven days to stop the publication of his remarks and issue an open apology to Zahid, while pledging not to repeat those remarks again, they said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.