Why didn’t Khairy tell me, says Najib

In a media interview, former premier Najib Razak is reported to have said he is receptive to all opinions. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak says Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin was free to approach him about concerns over his government without fearing any reprisal, but did not do so.

Any party member could have voiced dissatisfaction or a difference of opinion through proper internal channels, he was reported to have said today in a media interview.

Najib said he had always practised an open style where people were free to air their comments and different opinions to him. “I’m quite open about it, except that I want it to be done in private, because we should not attack each other as members of the government,” he was quoted as saying by Malay Mail today.

Khairy was reported to have told Channel NewsAsia on May 15: “Nobody wanted to acknowledge we have a problem. What happened was we became delusional; we got drunk on our own Kool-Aid and we got carried away”, leading to the Barisan Nasional being ousted from power in the general election.

However, Najib said in the Malay Mail interview today that Khairy was free to come and see him and say: ‘Look sir. I think you are not on the right track, or there is some problem, you know, which was not resolved in a proper way.’

Najib added: “Then I could then decide, whether to accept or not to accept. He didn’t do that. I mean, he admitted that he didn’t do that.”

He claimed that he had never forced his ideals on any BN members, emphasising only the need to follow the party line for discipline’s sake, “because if you attack the leadership openly, that’s against party discipline.”

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