Court cluster broke promise to step aside until cases resolved, says Nazri Aziz

The Padang Rengas MP says those who agreed included Najib Razak and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who are facing a slew of corruption charges.

Padang Rengas MP Mohamed Nazri Aziz today revealed a previous agreement in Umno that any individual embroiled in court cases would resign and focus on their respective trials.

He said the agreement was reached in 2019, after Barisan Nasional’s (BN) defeat in the 14th general election the year before which also marked the start of prosecutions in court against a number of Umno leaders.

According to Nazri, those who agreed included former prime minister Najib Razak and his one-time deputy, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“Now, they are taking control of the party instead of keeping to the rule,” he added at a forum in Singapore.

Najib was convicted in July 2020 of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering involving RM42 million in SRC International funds.

He was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million.

His conviction and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeal in December last year.

Zahid, meanwhile, was told in January to enter his defence against 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit in Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

Umno its own enemy

When asked by the forum participants if Umno wished to continue the memorandum of understanding (MoU) inked by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob with the opposition, Nazri said the party was inclined to do so.

However, he said Umno was its own worst enemy as a number of party leaders had dissented from this view.

“The ones who are opposing the MoU are not the opposition, but from within our party,” he said.

“I am worried about Umno. Not about PAS or Bersatu. Umno is our biggest enemy at the moment.”

He also commented on calls by some Umno leaders for the MoU to end and the 15th general election to be held immediately.

“These come from my own party, why?” he said. “Personal interest. They want to avoid their court cases.

“What will happen to them if the court finds them guilty? This is shameful and ridiculous.”

Nazri added that Umno was not in a position to demand whatever it wished as the party only had 42 MPs in Parliament.

“We are not dominant (but) we want to do what we want – to sleep with this party and that party.

“It’s not our choice,” he said. “We don’t have a choice.”