BUTTERWORTH: Saifuddin Nasution claims there has been a drop in support for Prime Minister Najib Razak within the top ranks of Umno over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue, saying even once die-hard supporters have remained silent.
He said even party leaders like Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Khairy Jamaluddin have kept mum, which he added could be due to a lack of support for Najib.
“Who is defending Najib on this issue? Have you seen Shahrizat Jalil, the Umno Wanita chief, defend Najib? Have you seen it?
“When was the last time she supported Najib? Has she defended Najib in this scandal?
“When was the last time (Umno Youth chief) Khairy Jamaluddin issued a statement defending Najib in this scandal? Is there any? There is none.”
He claimed only two Umno supreme council members from Sabah – Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Salleh Said Keruak – had been vocal in defending Najib.
“The rest are all quiet,” Saifuddin told a Pakatan Harapan (PH) ceramah on the 1MDB issue attended by about 100 people at Penaga here last night.
He said since there was a dearth of support from Umno bigwigs, an attempt was being made to use religious leaders to stir racial and religious sentiments on the issue.
He said PAS and “certain” state muftis had labelled investigations related to the sovereign wealth fund as “foreign meddling” to cast a bad light on such efforts.
Without mentioning names, Saifuddin displayed pictures of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and the muftis of Pahang and Kelantan on his slide presentation when saying this.
He said the muftis had no background information on the alleged malpractices.
“They are calling it foreign interference, saying that it would affect the stability of the country. That is a very serious accusation,” Saifuddin said.
Hadi had issued an open letter on June 24, objecting to the “foreign meddling” in the 1MDB affair.
In a Bernama report that same day, the muftis of Pahang, Kelantan, the Federal Territories and Melaka also voiced their objection to the investigations in other countries.
Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman said the foreign intervention affected Malaysia’s sovereignty, just as the colonial powers had done before independence.
As an example, he said the Arab states were going through turmoil due to outside meddling.
On a related matter, Saifuddin pledged that there would be a new attorney-general (AG) if PH sweeps into power in the next polls.
“We need to find a new AG. PKR has (Subang MP) R Sivarasa and DAP has (Puchong MP) Gobind Singh. We have many more candidates for AG,” he said.
The “Sayangi Malaysia, Hapuskan Kleptokrasi” ceramah was the first stop in a road show by PH to address people on the 1MDB issue.
Other speakers such as DAP’s Tony Pua, Amanah’s Muhammad Faiz Fadli and PPBM’s Yaakob Osman also addressed the gathering.