Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was arrested under Internal Securty Act (ISA) during former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad era because he was fighting against cronyism, corruption and nepotism, claimed Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed.
He said that Umno Kulim Bandar Baru division chief Abd Aziz Sheik Fadzil and a few Umno Youth executive council members were also implicated and marginalised from mainstream politics, for defending the principal (Zahid).
Utusan Malaysia quoted Nur Jazlan as saying: "Remember why last time Mahathir was very angry with Ahmad Zahid until he put him under ISA? The main reason was Ahmad Zahid and us brought up the issues of cronyism, corruption and nepotism until at last (we had) to 'pay the price' by being removed from positions."
"We are in one group that vowed to get involved in politics with transparency, but Aziz was ditched, I almost fell into the sea and Ahmad Zahid (was put) under ISA."
"However, we didn't give up because if we didn't continue, the one that we wanted to stop from practising cronyism, corruption and nepotism will continue be in power, and Alhamdulillah, Ahmad Zahid has now become deputy prime minister."
In September 1998, the then Umno Youth chief Zahid and four other Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim) leaders were arrested under ISA.
Then Bukit Aman Crime Investigation Department chief Yaacob Md Amin said all were arrested under Section 73(1) of the ISA for causing threat to national security.
Zahid's arrest came a day after former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim and then-Negri Sembilan Umno Youth chief Ruslan Kassim were detained under the same Act.