Zahid hints at addition to BN advisory board

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today hinted at an addition to the Barisan Nasional (BN) advisory board, days after former prime minister Najib Razak was appointed as its chairman.

Speaking to reporters at Parliament, he said aside from representatives from MCA, MIC and Umno, an “eminent person” might also be appointed.

He added that the person would not be from any political party.

Zahid also defended Najib’s appointment as the top adviser for BN, saying it was agreed on by leaders from other component parties as well.

“It was agreed on by the presidents of MCA and MIC, as well as the highest members of the BN council, consisting of leaders from the three parties,” he said.

“Surely there is a strong reason for Najib to give his views on a platform that he previously led.”

He also welcomed anyone with views which would be able to strengthen the former ruling coalition.

Najib was appointed to chair the coalition’s advisory board in a meeting between party chiefs on July 9.

The former prime minister served as BN chairman before resigning in the aftermath of the 2018 election.

His appointment as top adviser for BN was criticised by some, including former secretary-general Nazri Aziz who noted that the coalition’s fall from power came under Najib’s leadership.

However, Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa today defended the appointment as well, saying BN’s loss in last year’s election should not be made an issue.

“Lim Kit Siang who led DAP also lost a few times, and he was still appointed as adviser. So this should not be an issue,” he told reporters.