KUALA LUMPUR – May 4, 2016: Prime Minister’s press secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad is unperturbed over a legal suit filed against him by former Kedah Mentri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
Tengku Sariffuddin, via a statement stated that he looks forward to meet Mukhriz in court “to discuss” his claims of Mukhriz wanting to become the Prime Minister.
“Unlike Tun Mahathir (former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad), I haven’t made any wild allegations.
“My opinions are fair comment based on actions by Tun Mahathir, Datuk Seri Mukhriz and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (former deputy prime minister), who led the failed campaign to unseat the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak),” he stated.
Last Sunday, Tengku Sariffuddin had insinuated that Mukhriz wanted to become Prime Minister when he contested for the Umno vice-president post in the 2013 party poll.
He reasoned that only someone who wanted to be Umno president, and then by default prime minister, would contest the vice-president post as it was a key step to the top.
In response to this, Mukhriz said that he will sue Tengku Sariffuddin for defamation because of slandering him with baseless allegations.
Mukhriz insisted he was never involved in any conspiracy to topple Najib and push for Muhyiddin to become Prime Minister on the condition that he would be Muhyiddin’s successor.
Yesterday, Mukhriz filed the lawsuit against Tengku Sarifuddin at the Kuala Lumpur High Court civil registry.
“Their legal action shows that I have hit a nerve. It is understandable that Datuk Seri Mukhriz is emotionally distressed that for once his father has failed to get his way,” Tengku Sariffuddin stated.
“Tun Mahathir knows that there is a much faster way than the courts to stop all the speculation about his motivation for trying to replace the Prime Minister.
“All he needs to do is state who he wants instead as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister,” he added.
He also pointed out that Dr Mahathir’s consistent failure to answer his question as to who he wants as the next Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister only strengthen the contention that Dr Mahathir’s Anti-Najib Campaign was to pave way for his son to the top post.
“They were interested parties, and I believe motivated by ambition and desire for power.
“Many think that Tun Mahathir wanted Tan Sri Muhyiddin to be his proxy Prime Minister, with Dato’ Seri Mukhriz as Deputy Prime Minister until he was ready to take over.
“Looking at my comments in the context of the entire episode, I’m confident it will be clear that what I said is fair and represents my reading of the actions of Dato’ Seri Mukhriz and his father without any malice,” Tengku Sariffuddin stated.