Prioritise Umno over Najib, as party is haemorrhaging support, say reps
Support for Umno among its vote bank is haemorrhaging, and the party needs to be mindful of its position as a bastion for the Malay community, and not become fixated on one individual, party insiders said.
(MMO) – Its Johor Youth chief Noor Azleen Ambrose, for example, said that Umno needs to use its position in the unity government to fix itself and become more appealing to the Malays by offering fresh perspectives, instead of battling over jailed former prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“Umno, by being part of the government, has no reason to go back again. Support is not just declining; it is a haemorrhage for the party.
“Don’t tell me Umno does not want to use its current clout in the government to offer new things for the Malays? We should look at the bigger picture,” he told Malay Mail.
Noor Azleen said that Umno’s hastily convened emergency meeting last Saturday did not address the question of whether the party should continue being a part of the unity government, after the Federal Territories Pardons Board’s recent decision to halve Najib’s 12-year prison sentence for the misappropriation of RM42 million from a former 1MDB subsidiary, SRC International Bhd.
Those aligned with the former Pekan MP had been advocating for him to be granted a full pardon.
It was also one of the reasons why Umno agreed to join hands with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to form the current government, after the 15th general election (GE15).
“Leaving the government is out of the question. It was never mentioned. The sentiment and the mood (at the meeting) were calm,” Noor Azleen told Malay Mail.
He said that the decision to pardon an individual is the prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which no one can question, adding that Umno needs to move on to reclaim its lost ground by showing a fresh approach to prove its relevance, instead of placing the goal to free Najib at its core.
Nor Azleen added that while Najib has several avenues in his pursuit of freedom, including the “court of compassion”, which has already been utilised, in reference to the Pardons Board, Umno cannot afford to stray from its original agenda of fighting for the betterment of the Malay community.