Najib points to ex-PPBM leader Hamidah as the informant

Former PPBM vice-president Hamidah Osman said she was present when Kit Siang told Dr Mahathir to form a new Malay-based party. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak has indirectly confirmed a revelation by former PPBM vice-president Hamidah Osman who said today she was the informant who told him that Lim Kit Siang had advised Dr Mahathir Mohamad to form a new Malay-based party.

In a Facebook posting tonight, Najib said: “Before I could respond to Kit Siang’s challenge to reveal the informant, the person herself has already come to the fore,” and shared a link to the Utusan Online report about Hamidah.

The report said Hamidah had told reporters in Ipoh today that she had been present at a meeting called by Dr Mahathir at his office at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in 2016.

Mahathir had already left Umno at the time and had teamed up with politicians and civil society leaders to make the 2016 People’s Declaration seeking Najib’s resignation as prime minister.

“I was there and Kit Siang was there too. In our discussions, right before me, Kit Siang himself suggested to Dr Mahathir to set up a Umno-like Malay party to get 10 per cent of Umno’s votes, which if it did, Pakatan Harapan would be able to form a government.”

She said the proposal came about because the People’s Declaration was not receiving great public support.

“So, if you want to ask about those who informed Najib, I hereby admit that I was the one who was present when the matter was discussed between Dr Mahathir and Kit Siang,” she said, according to Utusan Online.

Yesterday, Kit Siang had challenged Najib to produce proof of his claim about Dr Mahathir being told to set up a new party.

Hamidah said she would not be surprised if Lim denied what she had revealed. “Kit Siang gave a statement that he never accused Dr Mahathir as a corrupt person while we know that before the formation of Pakatan Harapan, he had accused Dr Mahathir of being the father of corruption.”

She said she took responsibility for her statement, unlike other politicians.