GEORGE TOWN: Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders have hit out at an Umno Youth leader over his warning to Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Amar Singh and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to stop talking about 1MDB.
Former Federal Territories Umno Youth chief Razlan Rafii had said such comments created a negative perception of ousted prime minister Najib Razak, who has been charged with criminal breach of trust and abuse of power in connection with SRC International.
Najib has pleaded not guilty to all four charges against him.
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said Razlan’s behaviour was unbecoming, and his warnings uncalled for.
“It is not Razlan’s place to warn anyone about such matters. In fact, his attitude is typical of the denial syndrome that afflicts much of the Umno leadership, and which contributed to the party’s rejection at the May 9 polls.
“At a time when the people want clarity and accountability over past transgressions and excesses, Razlan is in fact deflecting from the real issue at hand which is to resolve the 1MDB scandal,” he told FMT.
Razlan had cited a temporary gag order granted by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Wednesday following MACC’s move to charge Najib.
“The Federal Territories police, MACC and Amar: Stop talking about 1MDB. Don’t let the media judge Najib. I am warning you.
“Don’t be so eager to talk about this and that list, about the millions seized… RM1.1 billion. There is no truth to these negative matters and it prejudices Najib in the eyes of the people.”
Fahmi, who is also Lembah Pantai MP, said Razlan held no party position and was not an elected representative.
“Razlan should focus his efforts on reforming his party rather than making these remarks,” he said.
PPBM Supreme Council member Tariq Ismail meanwhile used the analogy of a caveman to describe Razlan’s behaviour and that of Umno in general.
“We cannot expect evolution to happen overnight. The cavemen had 60 years of abusing laws with their own interpretations.
“The rest of the nation has evolved, but there still remains an endangered species that has refused to evolve with the times.”
Tariq said the matter was for the courts to decide, and that the judge would not be swayed by public sentiments.
“Of course, Najib is innocent until proven guilty, as he and his acolytes constantly proclaim. But prove it in court, and we will abide by the court ruling.
“There is a thing called rule of law, which many civilised people around the world abide by. Umno still needs to learn this.”
Lawyer Syahredzan Johan said Razlan had the right to say whatever he wanted, adding however that it was clear from his warning that he had no idea what the interim gag order entailed.
“While we do not have the terms of the said interim order per se, it is obvious that it would only cover the merits of the charges themselves. They do not and should not cover 1MDB as a whole.
“So his warning to the authorities betrays his complete lack of understanding of the legal aspects of the order.”