Najib admits suggesting Umno backs Anwar, provided DAP not in picture

Kenneth Tee
·3-min read
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at Menara Dato’ Onn in Kuala Lumpur October 26, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at Menara Dato’ Onn in Kuala Lumpur October 26, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has confirmed today he suggested to Umno leaders to work with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim if they are dissatisfied with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional government, on the condition it does not involve DAP.

Dispelling claims he had lobbied Barisan Nasional to support Anwar during the meeting between the pact’s MPs held earlier today, the disgraced former prime minister explained the aforementioned suggestion was one of two he had put forth to Umno leaders.

“My second suggestion was, if the first is rejected by Perikatan Nasional, then Umno must open itself to negotiations with other political parties including Anwar’s if Umno is still dissatisfied with how it is being treated in the government after what transpired in Sabah.

“However, my suggestion to work together with Anwar comes with a condition that it does not involve DAP. This has been emphasised several times during the meeting,” he said in a Facebook post.

The Pekan MP then suggested that Umno can negotiate with Anwar to work together until the next general election, especially when it has itself worked with Muhyiddin and Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali despite being political rivals back in February.

Among the terms include opening the path for Umno to take on prominent roles in the financial and economic direction of the country, Najib said.

He cited how Muhyiddin’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia is now monopolising the post of prime minister, the most senior of senior ministers, finance minister, economic affairs minister and the Economic Action Council without any representatives from Umno, PAS or other parties.

“With this we can draft aid plans and economic stimulus that are more effective including extending the loan moratorium and expediting aid packages especially for Sabah who are in dire need of them,” he said.

Umno leaders are set to decide later tonight if the party would continue to back Muhyiddin or withdraw their support, following the embattled prime minister’s failed bid to declare an emergency.

Najib also affirmed that tonight’s meeting was for the party’s parliamentarians to discuss the party’s direction in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Touching on his first suggestion, Najib said he had proposed for Umno to push for a date to be fixed in order to hold a general election in the future once the Covid-19 situation is contained.

“Dissolving Parliament to return the power to the rakyat to choose their choice of party when the seventh prime minister resigned last February.

“I am in the opinion that this is the best option for the country because the thin majority held by the PN government has become the source of our ongoing political instability which will reduce investors’ confidence over fears that the government may collapse at any time,” he said.

On Muhyiddin’s failed bid to declare an emergency, Najib said it was a misstep by the former in seeking for a state of emergency declaration as an attempt to consolidate power which may lead to Umno being blamed by voters for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s royal decree.

Despite this, Najib said he was open to suggestions in providing conditional support to PN until the next election but asserted that renegotiations on the terms must be conducted so Umno and BN are given more prominent roles especially those concerning economic planning.

“Anyway, those are the suggestions and my opinions in today’s meeting. It is up to the party to evaluate and discuss them.

“As a party man, I will continue to support the decision made by the party’s Supreme Council,” he said.

This comes as DAP MP Tony Pua declared that any government that requires the backing of Najib “can go to hell”.

In response, Najib had in a separate post saying that he too, does not wish to be involved with the Pakatan Harapan party.

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