Ex-Umno sec-gen denies news portal’s report, says ‘good friends’ with Najib


(Malay Mail Online) – Umno’s Tan Sri Sabbaruddin Chik has denied a news portal’s report alleging he warned Barisan Nasional (BN) could lose power in the next general election if the ruling coalition fails to win over young voters.

The former Umno secretary-general claimed that the report was aimed at undermining support for BN and damaging his reputation, local daily Utusan Malaysia reported today.

Despite acknowledging the interview with The Malaysian Insider, Sabbaruddin insisted that the report was not based on what he what he said.

“This story has nothing to do with me. That is not my story. I deny it completely. It is true that Malaysian Insider’s reporter came to interview but (it was) not about elections, (young) Generation Y voters or the Election Commission (EC).

“That is not what I said. The story is their (The Malaysian Insider) story. They told tales and used me as if now I am angry with Umno, BN and Najib — not correct,” he was quoted as saying yesterday in his Bukit Damansara residence.

He also denied being critical of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership, saying that he considers the Umno president a “good friend”.

“I am the type if there’s anything that I should speak up, I will speak directly to the government and the prime minister. Najib is still my good friend. I respect him as the prime minister and pray that (he) will continue leading Malaysia as long as he is able,”

On Thursday, The Malaysian Insider published a report titled “GE14 lost if Barisan still fails to impress young voters, warns Sabbaruddin Chik”.

In the report, Sabbaruddin was quoted observing that BN had already lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority and saying that it would lose more seats in the 14th general election if it does nothing.

This scenario would happen if the federal government does not carry out serious changes to address the young voters’ key concerns of corruption and leakages, the news portal cited him as saying.

In the report, Sabbaruddin also allegedly said that Najib was lacking as a leader, but no one in Umno has asked him to resign due to a lack of potential successors.

He was also reported as saying Najib was lucky because he took over the country from former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, instead of the latter’s powerful predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.