Ex-Umno MPs want Najib out

By Muda Mohd Noor, FMT

PETALING JAYA: Speculation has been rife that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s position in Umno is under threat.

Party insiders have long claimed that the daggers are out, alleging that while in public, support is expressed for the president, behind closed doors his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin with the blessings of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is making his move.

The prime minister’s grip on power slipped further following the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 while the controversies surrounding his wife Rosmah Mansor are also taking a toll.

Now, an organisation representing former Umno members of Parliament has voiced its lack of confidence in Najib’s leadership and wants him to step down.

The organisation called Penawar is headed by former Cabinet minister Aziz Shamsuddin, who was Mahathir’s political secretary from 1981 to 2002.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Penawar member said the organisation decided in a meeting last week that it is time for Najib to relinquish his post.

“It is up to Najib. If he loves the country and the Malays, he should resign as soon as possible.

“If he is not a selfish person, then he must quit,” the former MP told FMT, adding that the meeting was attended by ex-ministers from the Mahathir era.

According to him, Penawar, which represents some 50 ex-MPs, is dissatisfied with Najib’s leadership due to several reasons.

When pressed, he declined to elaborate on the reasons, stating that these are common knowledge.

Contacted later, Aziz, who is Penawar’s chairman, declined to comment on the matter but disclosed that the organisation will be holding another meeting tomorrow.

Muhyiddin’s brother also present?

Najib took over the reins in April 2009 and immediately portrayed himself as a moderate leader under his 1Malaysia concept aimed at luring back Chinese and Indian votes.