PETALING JAYA: An Umno Supreme Council member said Najib Razak’s reputation as a leader will not be diminished despite today’s court ruling which found the former prime minister guilty of all seven counts of corruption in connection with RM42 million belonging to former 1MDB unit SRC International.
Comparing Najib to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim – the former deputy prime minister who was jailed twice on charges of sodomy, which he described as political conspiracies – Abdul Rahman Dahlan told FMT Najib would continue to be a “very powerful figure” across the country.
“No one can deny that,” said Rahman.
“Anwar has gone to jail but now he is back in the limelight. Almost every prominent politician in the world had to go through these kinds of predicaments to prove they are leaders.
“In my opinion, he (Najib) would have continued to be a prominent leader in Malaysian politics whether he was found guilty or not,” added the Tuaran Umno chief.
Najib is the first former prime minister to be tried and convicted on criminal charges for actions taken while in office.
He was charged in 2018 with three counts of criminal breach of trust, three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of power soon after his Barisan Nasional government lost federal power to Pakatan Harapan.
Meanwhile, fellow Umno Supreme Council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be more “happy” with the verdict than Dr Mahathir Mohamad, one of Najib’s most vocal critics.
“Muhyiddin must be proud that even though Najib signed a statutory declaration stating his support for Muhyiddin as the eighth prime minister, he (Muhyiddin) cannot be bought with that support,” Puad said.