Najib Razak will be a “burden” for Umno, said Johari Abdul Ghani, as the former second finance minister faces more criticism from party members over his remarks two days ago on the former prime minister.
Umno leaders’ views of Najib:
- Johari Abdul Ghani says everyone knows Najib is facing a perception of corruption
- Khaled Nordin claims Najib on trial, not Umno, and the party should move on
- Annuar Musa says the party views Najib as “baggage”
The Titiwangsa Umno division chief reiterated yesterday that the former party president should not have campaigned during the Sg Kandis by-election.
“What I raised was the possibility of Najib campaigning brought about a burden of negative perception was not the wisest strategy for Umno,” he said in a statement addressed to critics of him on social media.
Johari said on Wednesday it was unwise to have allowed Najib on the campaign trail, given the charges against him and the scandal in which he is implicated.
The former Titiwangsa MP added that even though he believed Najib was “innocent till proven guilty”, the former Umno president faces public judgment for being allegedly corrupt.
“Everyone knows that Najib is facing a perception of corruption and this is one of the factors that the vote for BN deteriorated in Sg Kandis,” Johari said.
Umno must not follow its leaders blindly and need to speak up for what is right and wrong, he said.
“Blind loyalty cannot give victory to Umno… The burden of negative perception towards Umno brought the tsunami in the 14th general election where many ministers, including myself, were defeated,” Johari said.
He questioned Umno’s move to allow Najib campaign for its candidate in the recent Sg Kandis by-election, which it lost to PKR by nearly 6,000 votes.
In recent days, several Umno leaders have criticised Najib’s role in the by-election campaign, given the multiple charges he faces.
Party vice-president Khaled Nordin said it was Najib on trial, not Umno, and the party should move on.
Meanwhile, Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa told The Malaysian Insight that the party views Najib as “baggage” and needs to work on gaining lost support.
Najib was slapped with three money laundering charges on Wednesday related to RM42 million from SRC International Bhd deposited into his account.
On July 4, he was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of misusing his position.
All seven charges are linked to SRC International, a former subsidiary of beleaguered state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd. – TMI
Earlier report: Aug 10, Zahid Hopes Najib Not Offended by Umno Leaders’ Words