Zahid tells police not to take sides on Dr M’s sabotage claim

Zahid Hamidi has told police not to take sides in Mahathir Mohamad’s claim of sabotage of a private jet. (Instagram pic)

BAGAN DATUK: Deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has instructed the police to investigate a claim by PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the aircraft that was to have taken him to Langkawi yesterday had been sabotaged.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said he had yet to receive a full report from the Kedah and Langkawi police.

“I have told the police not to take sides. We must translate the meaning and process of democracy by safeguarding everyone’s safety. We do not want any sabotage of any candidate and contesting party,” he said.

He expressed his sympathies for Dr Mahathir’s experience “and I hope it was not done by certain parties trying to prevent him from contesting,” he said after filing his nomination papers for re-election as MP for Bagan Datuk.

Mahathir made the claim of sabotage yesterday. He was to have flown in a private jet to Langkawi for a reception with his party’s women’s wing, a day before filing his nomination papers as PPBM’s candidate in the Langkawi parliamentary seat.

FMT reported yesterday that while waiting to board the plane at Subang airport he had been informed by the pilot that one of the aircraft tyres had a puncture.

Zahid said he would wait for the report to be filed by the CID director to determine if there was any criminal element.

“I will ask the Department of Civil Aviation to provide the best service to Dr Mahathir. I hope what he (Dr Mahathir) experienced is not something any candidate would have to go through,” he said.

Last night, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai took a serious view of Mahathir’s claim and ordered an investigation by the Civil Aviation Department. “At the same time, we hope this is also not a political stunt. This is not a matter to be used for political exploitation,” he said.

So far there had been no report made by the pilot. The captain and the owner of the private jet would be asked to give their statements, he said.