KUALA LUMPUR: Several seasoned Umno leaders have jumped to the defence of former party leader Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak after he came under scathing attacks for being a liability to the party.
Party Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said Najib could only be deemed a liability if he was found guilty of the charges against him, and that it was unfair to judge him based on perception.
“If a person has been found guilty, then it's fine to say he's a liability to Umno. But please wait,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby, here today.
“If you want to remove him now (from Umno), that is unfair. Once proven (guilty), I will personally tell him to rest and sit quietly.”
The Pasir Salak MP called those who criticised Najib “power-hungry”.
“You want to remove Najib just to get the support of certain people, you are even willing to kill your own friend, abandoning your own former leader. This is unprincipled,” he said.
Several other Umno leaders, including former minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz, had in recent weeks urged Najib to emulate his predecessors and take a back seat to allow the new Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to move the party forward.
Meanwhile, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said Najib has a right to speak as a member of Parliament.
“He (Najib) does not have any more positions but he can still comment and provide his views as the Pekan MP,” he said.
“I am not defending anyone (but) he contested and is still an MP so he can speak out and we do not have the right to stop him.”