Zahid suggests Amanah’s Khalid Samad learn respect after sparking row over Najib’s pardon

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, April 30 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today advised Amanah communications director Khalid Samad to be “respectful” of allies, after the latter publicly objected to Umno’s plea for a royal pardon of the disgraced Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

While differences of opinions — as Khalid called the matter — should be celebrated, such personal views must not be passed off as a party’s position when this was not the case, said Ahmad Zahid, who was also the Umno president,

“I hope that the individual knows how to differentiate between a personal or party’s stance. For me, he has to learn how to respect other government component parties,” he told reporters at the deputy prime minister’s Aidilfitri open house at Sri Satria here.

Zahid also said it was crucial to set aside differences and focus on common ground to maintain harmony within the unity government.

“This is important to keep up the good perception and narrative to the people as a whole,” he added.

Zahid was then joined by Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, Amanah’s deputy president, who apologised to those offended by Khalid’s statement.

Salahuddin said he hoped this would allow all parties to move past the row over Najib’s pardon, and to find similarities in order to protect the stability of the unity government.

Earlier, Khalid apologised for “upsetting” Umno with his statement urging the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to deny its plea for Najib’s pardon, but said he was entitled to the opinion as it was not an attack on or criticism of Umno.

The Amanah leader also rejected suggestions that it could undermine Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional’s cooperation heading into six state elections expected in July.

Earlier today, Amanah president Mat Sabu said his party’s members may express their personal views on Umno's petition on behalf of Najib, but these were not representative of Amanah’s stand that was bound by PH’s position.

Najib has been convicted of misappropriating RM42 million from a former 1MDB unit and subsequently sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment; the ex-PM has applied for a royal pardon after exhausting all other legal avenues to appeal.