KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Daim Zainuddin last night revealed how Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) victory in the 14th general election was a result of the manipulation of insider reports from Umno’s think tank groups, coupled with the sacrifices made by PH component parties.
Daim, who is Council of Eminent Persons chairman, said based on studies and reports he received from Umno’s think tanks, the party (Umno) was aware that it and Barisan Nasional (BN) would lose in GE14.
Even so, he admitted that PH’s victory was aided by other factors including the “arrogance and insolent attitude” of Umno leaders, as well as BN component parties’ attacks on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad while campaigning, which Daim said was not well-received by the people.
“I'm an old hand in politics and business. I have many friends. Prior to the 2018 general election, I met with Umno (leadership), DAP, Parti Amanah Negara and PKR. I received many reports, even from friends in Umno.
“Even during the election campaign, they (Umno) told me they would lose. These were their own people. I advised the former prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) to look into it. I reminded him that Umno will lose. There are many reasons (that would lead to the defeat),” he said.
Daim was speaking at the Soal Rakyat programme on TV3, featuring Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar and Mustapha Kamil Mohd Janor as the moderator.
PH, he said, had two approaches. He said first, he did an interview with Nanyang Siang Pau, where they would “destroy MCA and MIC first” to the point that they are no longer relevant.
Next, he said, they concentrated on Felda, which was a fixed deposit for Umno.
“If we look at Umno (leaders at that time) they were arrogant. They believed that they would always win. They had the machinery, numbers, incumbents, and hence they are utterly arrogant and rude. Unacceptable,” he said.
Daim said PH agreed that they needed Dr Mahathir to lead the charge against Umno, as the Malays in urban areas would also be receptive to him.
“In our strategy, we decided not to interfere with Sabah. We left the state to (Warisan president) Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
“We decided to focus on areas that we can win, most importantly Felda settlements, which were supposedly Umno's fixed deposit. And we broke their deposit to nothingness. They were overconfident (about their chances in Felda),” he said.
Daim also disclosed that he met with PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the Sungai Buloh Prison to go over the plans.
“Meeting Anwar was difficult. The only ones allowed in were family members and lawyers.
“To overcome this, I became a lawyer again. That way, I gained entry to the prison and we held discussions about six times,” he said.
Daim said when he was later barred from meeting Anwar, he wrote to Najib to ask why.
“They (the BN government) must have received reports in certain matters (on the meetings). But it’s okay because Anwar and I had already discussed matters,” he said.
Daim also paid tribute to DAP’s sacrifice in showing solidarity by choosing not to use their logo to contest in GE14.
“When people saw DAP making that sacrifice, it was an important step in showing that the party was not racist but instead prioritised the country. Would MCA have done the same? No.
“DAP was not accepted by the Malays before but when it came to the people’s interest, they made sacrifices by not using their rocket symbol. That’s sacrifice.” Additional reporting by ESTHER LANDAU, MOHD ANWAR PATHO ROHMAN, MOHD ISKANDAR IBRAHIM, SITI NUR MAS ERAH AMRAN, HAZWAN FAISAL MOHAMAD and AHMAD SUHAEL ADNAN © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd