PETALING JAYA: Deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s future in politics is now uncertain as he faces pressure from members of his own party as well as the general public, according to former minister Zainuddin Maidin.
Zainuddin, speaking to FMT late yesterday, said this could be the reason why Zahid had yet to say anything about the criticism and the police reports lodged against him over his disclosure of details found in what he said was former premier Mahathir Mohamad’s identity card.
Zahid’s press secretary has since given a response, saying the issue had been blown out of proportion.
“Zahid’s morale is really low now,” Zainuddin claimed. “What he did with Mahathir’s identity card is what schoolchildren do. The public never expected a deputy prime minister to go that low.”
The former information minister also referred to Mahathir’s claim that Zahid once secretly met him to seek his support for a bid to replace Najib Razak as prime minister.
“His loyalty to Umno and its president is under question,” Zainuddin said. “It will remain so unless he can really convince party members that what Mahathir alleged was untrue.”
Mahathir, in a video recently uploaded to PPBM’s Facebook page, alleged that the secret meeting took place soon after Zahid was appointed deputy prime minister in 2015.
The former PM, who is Pakatan Harapan chairman, alleged that Zahid took the path of deception after failing to get his backing.
Zahid on Sunday exposed details of what was allegedly Mahathir’s old IC, which bore the name “Mahathir anak lelaki (son of) Iskandar Kutty”.
“Zahid will have a tough time trying to convince the public that Mahathir’s allegation about him was false because his integrity has been affected by his attack on Mahathir,” said Zainuddin.
“That’s why Najib made Hishammuddin Hussein the special functions minister out of the blue.
“Zahid knows this. He can see that Hishammuddin’s path to the prime minister’s post is clearer than his.”
He described Zahid as a “very ambitious” politician with strong grassroots support and said he would not go down without a fight.
“Najib too knows what Zahid can do. So it will be interesting to see how Najib is going to tread this dangerous water in a way that won’t threaten his leadership further.”
Zainuddin added that if Zahid continued playing his brand of politics, Najib might not have to do anything but sit and watch him dig his own grave.
“What Zahid has done and allegedly done is political suicide,” he said. – FMT