Umno division leaders stand in solidarity with president


(NST) – Umno division leaders have unanimously voiced their support for party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak in dealing with recent issues that have cropped up of late.

While 160 out of the total 191 division party leaders were present at a meeting with Najib at the party headquarters here today, messages were conveyed to those absent and all have agreed with the prime minister’s explanation on various matters pertaining to the country’s economy and Umno’s preparedness for the next general election.

At a press conference after the meeting, Bera Umno division chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who represented the party division chiefs, said Najib received the unanimous support from them.

“We are giving our full support to Najib as the Umno president. It is the responsibility of the Umno division chairmen to throw their support behind the president in times of mounting pressure and accusations against him,” he said.

New Straits Times has learnt that Najib was also elated to receive the rousing support from the division leaders, whom each even raised a placard which reads: “Soladiriti bersama Presiden Umno” (Solidarity with Umno president) at the end of the meeting.

Division leaders when met soon after the meeting was over, expressed satisfaction with Najib’s stern approach towards issues, particularly on matters surrounding the strategic investment firm 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB).

Despite most were tight-lipped to divulge details, they were willing to reveal their reaction on the outcome of the meeting.

“I am surprised that not one of the division leaders stood up to throw a question or two. That is just to reflect how clear the explanations made by the party president,” said Titiwangsa Umno division chief Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.

“He gave a detailed comment on the 1MDB issue and I can say this that the prime minister will spare no quarters if there is any malpractice committed in the transactions.

The prime minister also assured that the issue, among others, will not divide Umno and Barisan Nasional,” he added.

Umno vice-president and Sembrong division chief, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein expressed his appreciation on Umno division leaders’ initiative to discuss sensitive issues openly.

“The division leaders gave their assurance that the issues discussed and the explanations given will reach the party’s grassroots, to ensure that we will not be at odds on our common understanding (on the party’s goals).

“We are also satisfied with the president’s assurance that the Auditor-General and Public Accounts Committee will look into the 1MDB matter. It is better for us to investigate rather than speculate,” said Hishammuddin.