Zahid's DNAA strengthens Umno's image - Ahmad Maslan
KUANTAN - The decision by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to grant a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) for Umno President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi on Monday is believed to be able to restore Umno's image and strengthen the party.
Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan added that the decision clears Zahid's image as the party's president and the party itself from various accusations and allegations made by the opposition.
"We respect the court's decision; personally, I have known since 2018 that this case was unfounded when Datuk Seri Zahid was accused.
"I am relieved that this matter has finally been resolved, and we can now continue to portray a positive image of the President and the party,” he said during a press conference after the 2024 Budget Tour program in Pahang on Monday.
Ahmad Maslan made these remarks when asked to comment on the court's decision regarding Zahid, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister.
Zahid was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) from 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption, and money laundering related to the Akalbudi Foundation funds he founded.
Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah discharged Zahid, 70, who is also the Minister of Rural and Regional Development, after granting Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar's application, stating that the Attorney General's Chambers wanted to discontinue all proceedings against Zahid at this stage.
Ahmad Maslan stated that justice has finally prevailed, demonstrating that the charges should not have been brought forth in the first place.
Prior to this, Ahmad Maslan mentioned that Zahid had become a victim of selective political prosecution due to his refusal to dissolve Umno and join Bersatu unconditionally, as requested by former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, who was the Bersatu chairman at that time.
He noted that a similar situation occurred in 1996 when Tun Mahathir asked Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to dissolve Semangat 46 and join Umno unconditionally.
"That's my view; when those conditions were not met, selective political prosecution with ill intentions was initiated against Umno President Zahid," he said.
He hoped that other Umno leaders who have been victims of selective political prosecution would also be released.
"I hope justice can be upheld, and the people are urged not to lose faith in the country's justice system," he elaborated.