‘Najib used Budget speech to woo PAS, Umno members’

Zaid-IbrahimPETALING JAYA: Former minister Zaid Ibrahim accused Prime Minister Najib Razak of using the Budget 2017 speech to appeal to Umno and PAS members to support him.

“It is all politics,” said Zaid in response to Najib paying tribute to the late Umno veteran, Abdul Aziz Tapa, and PAS spiritual leader Haron Din.

Zaid, who is a former Kota Bharu MP and Umno leader, said Najib’s conduct did not surprise him.

“He is not the usual finance minister.”

In questioning why Najib did not mention the late Kelantan menteri besar and spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, Zaid said the answer was obvious.

“It is because Nik Aziz never supported him.”

Meanwhile, another critic of Najib, Art Harun, in his tweet said he was perplexed why Najib referred to names of dead persons in his speech, which was supposed to be devoted to the nation’s budget.

“Why one has to remember the dead while presenting the national budget is beyond me.

“Never have I heard so much political grandstanding & meaningless political gobbledygook in my life.”

In the speech, the prime minister said while the nation strived to succeed through times of joy and sorrow, it never forgot exemplary leaders who had inspired the people and nation.

Najib said Harun was highly respected for his contribution to the ummah and that was why the government conferred on him the 2016 Maal Hijrah Special Award.

He said it was sad and disappointing that there were certain parties which openly hated or insulted him.

Haron, 76, passed away on Sept 16 at the Stanford University Medical Centre in the United States of heart complications.

Aziz, who passed away on Oct 4 at age 93, is best remembered for giving speeches laced with pantun at Umno general assemblies.

A founding member of the party in 1946, he was a senator and assemblyman in Malacca.