Fulfil our demands or be sacked as Umno veep, party warlords warn PM

They want royal pardon for Datuk Seri Najib Razak, removal of top judge, AG, immediate GE15

(The Vibes) – Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob appears to be a prime minister under siege from his own party.

Umno warlords have given the prime minister what appears to be an ultimatum – fulfil four demands or face being sacked as the party’s vice-president.

This in turn would – some would hope – risk bringing his tenure to an abrupt end, making his time in office the shortest one so far.

At Wednesday’s political bureau meeting chaired by party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, four demands were made of Ismail Sabri – three of which centred around now-disgraced former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is serving his time in Kajang Prison following the Federal Court’s decision to uphold his conviction in the SRC International case.

The three demands are: the removal of the attorney-general; the removal of the chief justice; and obtaining a royal pardon for Najib.

The other demand is for Ismail Sabri to immediately call for a general election.

“The prime minister was being harassed by his fellow Umno leaders to save Najib from his long 12-year sentence,” said a source.

“Despite the loud demands, the prime minister insisted that he cannot interfere in the judicial process.”

He said the anger and desperation of some of these Umno leaders came to a point where they threatened the prime minister to bend to their demands or face being sacked.

They are contemplating suspending or even sacking him,” said another source, adding that Ismail Sabri however remained “cool” and has refused to respond or retaliate.

“The prime minister feels that saying anything publicly will not help cool temperatures. He also believes that the majority of Umno members will not want the judiciary and legal processes to be tainted by Umno’s interference.

“He has maintained that the doctrine of separation of powers must be respected. But this is how crazy the situation is. They are willing to sack a sitting Umno prime minister,” said the source.

While the prime minister will not be attending the Zahid’s special briefing in the afternoon due to constituency events in Bera, Pahang, Ismail Sabri will be there for the Supreme Council meeting at night on the same day. It is learnt that the four demands will be issued to him then.

During Monday’s emergency meeting called by Zahid to discuss “saving Najib”, only 73 division chiefs of the 191 attended.

Zahid himself faces 47 criminal charges, 12 of which are for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

Since Najib was sent to prison on Tuesday, Zahid has issued his public support, mostly by reiterating the former prime minister’s contributions to the country while quelling any suggestions that Umno would be incapacitated.

A group known as Pertubuhan Jalinan Perpaduan Negara Malaysia on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to seek royal intervention to free Najib.

It also urged the prime minister to apply for a royal pardon on behalf of Najib, backed by some 300 supporters.

Should Ismail Sabri refuse to submit the application, the group demanded that Zahid and other Umno MPs withdraw support for the prime minister, a move that would result in the collapse of the government.