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Plot to oust Zahid? Some Umno MPs in the dark

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Several Umno lawmakers have dismissed speculation of a plot within the party to oust president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The plot was detailed by the New Straits Times, which claimed that Zahid had "consented" to "part ways" with the party before the year is over after accepting the terms of his removal.

Citing an anonymous Umno lawmaker, the report said 98 percent of the party's 48 MPs had agreed to the plan. 

Another Umno MP said "several" moves are being engineered against Zahid.

However, three Umno MPs have told Malaysiakini that they are unaware of the plan.

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin said he was definitely not part of it.

"I never heard of anything. Even if there is any effort, it did not involve me. 

"I am not involved in anything at all," said Khairy, who has occasionally been critical of Zahid since the latter assumed the presidency.

Staunch Zahid supporter and Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan dismissed the report altogether, and said all Umno MPs were loyal to the president.

"We see him as an opposition leader and the Umno president who successfully brought change (to Umno) even in his short term.

"The most significant change he brought was that he united Malays and Muslims," he said.

BN secretary-general Nazri Abdul Aziz told Malaysiakini that he was unaware of the scenarios described in the report and that he stood by Zahid's leadership.

He said rumours of his alleged involvement in the plot was linked to his refusal to be part of the rally on Saturday.

"I was appointed (by Zahid) as BN secretary-general of BN.

"I didn't attend the anti-Icerd rally because I was happy with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who said the government retracted from ratifying Icerd."

'There are grouses'

However, Nazri admitted that there were grouses among Umno MPs against Zahid's leadership.

"Grouses? Of course there are, but I don't know whether they are (the voices of the) majority," he said. 

"You don't have to hear about it, you saw people leaving the party, like Mustapa (Mohamed) and Anifah (Aman)."

Nazri said that even if there was an effort to oust Zahid, it could only be done through the party election or an extraordinary general assembly, should he refuse to step down. 

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