Umno supreme council member Datuk Puad Zarkashi has accused the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) of acting hypocritical in opposing the Malay nationalist party’s pardon application for its former leader Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
In a mocking statement, Puad, who is also Johor State Legislative Assembly Speaker, asked if Muda could be a “pure and clean” party when its president and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman is still facing corruption charges in court.
“Najib did not contest the 15th general election. Syed Saddiq contested in Muar.
“Believe me, if convicted later, Syed Saddiq will remain president and contest in the 16th general election. Don’t be a hypocrite at this young age,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.
He was responding to a Muda statement yesterday that emphasised the party’s official position is to oppose any move to save any “kleptocrat” who has troubled and “pawned” the country.
Puad, who is also Rengit assemblyman, said that unlike Syed Saddiq, Najib stepped down as Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairman when the coalition he led lost in Election 2018.
He also said that Umno will not take Muda’s opposition to its pardon plea for Najib to heart because the younger party is not an official member of the federal alliance government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and has to “beg” to become a component party of the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
Prior to Muda, Puad had criticised a PH component, Parti Amanah Negara, after its communications director Khalid Samad called to block any pardon bid for Najib.
Khalid has since apologised for upsetting Umno but maintained his stand that a pardon for Najib would tarnish the Anwar administration and Malaysia’s commitment to fighting corruption and power abuse.
In an apparent criticism of Amanah, Muda stressed that it will not apologise for objecting to Najib’s pardon bid.
Muda’s central executive committee described the former premier as a “kleptocrat” who made the country suffer and freeing him this early in his sentence will send the wrong message to Malaysians.
“Pardoning Najib just as he begins his sentence will send the message that anyone with influence over the powerful is above the law.
“This violates the principles of the Rukun Negara (which emphasis) the supremacy of laws,” it said.