KUALA LUMPUR - Former Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir today admitted that his father and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had plans to topple Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"I agree that my father tried to topple Najib and this plan started not in 2015 but much earlier, in 2014, " he said in his testimony in the High Court here.
Mukhriz, 52, who is deputy president of the opposition Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), was responding to a question from counsel Datuk Seri Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos during cross-examination in the defamation suit brought by Mukhriz against Datuk Seri Tengku Sharifuddin Tengku Ahmad, the press secretary to the Prime Minister.
Asked by the lawyer whether he agreed that Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin conspired to topple Najib, plaintiff Mukhriz said: "I do not want to use the word conspiracy, but they had a similar intention.
Mukhriz said the matter was public knowledge, especially among Malaysians, and it had also circulated on social media and the mainstream media."
Mukhriz, who acknowledged having contested the vice-presidency when he was in UMNO, agreed with Jahaberdeen that in UMNO politics the post of vice-president was regarded as key to eventually becoming the prime minister.
He also agreed with the lawyer that he had contested for and won a post in the UMNO Youth executive committee, lost in the contest for the post of UMNO Youth chief and lost in the contest for a post of UMNO vice-president.
The state assemblyman for Ayer Hitam, Kedah, said he had no intention of becoming prime minister when he contested for a post of UMNO vice-president.
Earlier, Mukhriz, in his witness statement presented to the court, said the media statements issued by defendant Tengku Sharifuddin had tarnished his reputation in the eyes of the public.
Mukhriz, who was represented by counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, was the first witness on the first day of the hearing of the suit.
Mukhriz filed the suit on May 3, 2016, claiming that Tengku Sharifuddin had issued two statements of a defamatory nature against him in April of that year.
He claimed that the statements implied that Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin conspired in a malicious campaign to topple a legally elected government and that the plaintiff was still involved directly in the plot of Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin.
The hearing before Judge Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim continues tomorrow.