‘Disappointed’ veterans have own agendas, says Shahrir

shahrir samad

(The Star) – The group of Barisan Nasional veterans who spoke out against the detention of two individuals under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012 have their own personal agendas, says Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad (pic).

Calling the  veteran leaders headed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed the “disappointed group”, Sharir said they had raised many issues in the past in their attempts to bring down Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“We cannot stop them from carrying out their intentions because this group has its own interests. So some members of the group interpret things according to their own personal interests,” the Barisan Nasional Backbencher’s Club (BNBBC) chairman said in an article in the club’s website.

“For Tun Mahathir, it is because he wants Datuk Seri Najib to face difficulties. For Muhyiddin, maybe he has a goal in mind, Ku Li (Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah) has his own reasons. So we must understand each person’s interests. Everything depends on personal interest, and that is politics,” Shahrir was quoted as saying.

He added that due to their close relationship with Najib, former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former cabinet minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, who were part of the “dissapointed group”, should have known the Prime Minister better.

“Don’t tell me these leaders in Umno (Shafie and Muhyiddin) don’t trust Najib? They are even closer to him compared to me. They are the ones who should know and understand him better. They were close (in the party and Cabinet previously),” he said.

Shahrir further noted that it is impossible that Najib, as party president, would want Umno to “fall”.

A group of Barisan leaders headed by Dr Mahathir came together at the Perdana Leadership Foundation on Monday to voice out against the detention of former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer, Matthias Chang, under the Security Offence (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012 over offences deemed detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

Although the Barisan leaders were known for having contrasting views in the past, Dr Mahathir nevertheless spoke alongside Umno deputy president Muhyiddin, Umno vice-president Shafie, outspoken Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh, former Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Sanusi Junid and former MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat against what they claim is the Government’s abuse of power.

Former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chairman Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang became the first people to be charged under Section 124 (L) of the Penal Code, read with Section 34, for attempting to sabotage Malaysia’s banking and financial services.

They face a maximum jail term of 15 years if convicted.