PETALING JAYA: A DAP leader has called on Umno to move away from Najib Razak’s 1MDB legacy, drawing parallels between the former prime minister’s supporters and those of outgoing US president Donald Trump.
In a statement, Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming said Trump’s Republican supporters were similar to Najib’s supporters in Umno in that they had a “denial syndrome”.
He said Republican supporters did not want to admit that Trump was a “serial liar” as it would mean admitting to being “fooled” by him.
“Supporters don’t want to believe that Najib was complicit in the 1MDB scandal because to do so meant that they were fooled into defending him in the first place when news about this scandal broke out.”
Ong, who is DAP’s assistant political education director, said Najib’s supporters held on to the “myths” about 1MDB but he believed most Umno leaders thought otherwise now.
He said that with the exception of a few “brave souls”, like former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, most Umno leaders would not dare to voice their beliefs publicly.
Previously, Khairy had urged the party to rejuvenate itself and move on from Najib after he was found guilty of all seven counts of corruption in relation to RM42 million belonging to former 1MDB unit SRC International.
While acknowledging that Najib is probably the most effective user of social media among politicians in the country at present, Ong said this did not mean that this will translate into votes.
He said Trump also had a vocal support base but yet lost the 2020 presidential elections by seven million votes.
“Najib may still have many supporters on social media but every time he appears in court for a 1MDB-related hearing, it is a public reminder that this scandal will follow him for the rest of his life,” he said.
Ong said while he did not know what was best for Umno, Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor, who is also facing corruption charges, would be a liability for the party.
Similarly, he said, the Republicans should leave the legacy of Trump behind.
“The future of the US and of Malaysia would be significantly better if both these figures (Trump and Najib) can be marginalised politically in their respective countries,” he said.