Was I not a political prisoner? Khairuddin asks

Khairuddin-zahidPETALING JAYA: Former Umno man Khairuddin Abu Hassan has challenged Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to come clean on the reason for his arrest under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) in 2015.

The challenge follows Zahid’s claim that there has been no politically motivated arrest since Prime Minister Najib Razak came to power.

Speaking to FMT, Khairuddin said he was “living proof” that Zahid was wrong.

He said: “Has Zahid forgotten that I, a former Batu Umno vice-chief, was detained under Sosma for no reason other than trying to save government funds which were being misappropriated? Am I not a politician?

“I was thrown into the Dang Wangi police lock-up for two weeks and into the Sungai Buloh prison for a whole month. Why? Because I filed reports over the 1MDB scandal, and this happened during Najib Razak’s tenure. Has Zahid forgotten all of this?”

Khairuddin, along with his lawyer Matthias Chang, were charged on Oct 12, 2015, with attempting to sabotage Malaysia’s banking and financial services. They were alleged to have committed their offences in France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore.

“The fact that we won our case at the Sessions Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court means the arrest was unjustified,” he said.

“I want Zahid to tell me whether I’m right in saying that my arrest was not only baseless but was illegitimate.

“I want Zahid to tell me whether or not it’s true that my arrest was completely political and the only reason it happened was that I was the only Umno grassroots leader who dared stand up and file reports against Najib Razak, Rosmah Mansor, Jho Low, Riza Aziz and the whole 1MDB board.”

He said he had lost all respect for Zahid although he used to regard him as a righteous person.

“Our deputy prime minister is highly educated in Islam and was born of a righteous and religious family,” he said.

“I once loved him because he was a man who held firmly to his religious upbringing and fought oppression. Now all that is gone.

“I urge him to remember God and come back to the path of the righteous.”

Zahid denies use of national security laws to detain critics