PETALING JAYA: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has urged the party to show its support for former prime minister Najib Razak in his “difficult” SRC International appeal in the Federal Court.
While Zahid said yesterday’s Federal Court’s decision to reject Najib’s bid to adduce fresh evidence should be respected, this does not prevent the public, Umno members and leaders from showing their solidarity with former Umno president Najib.
“Let us continue to be united in solidarity with Najib. Don’t give up. Be patient and keep fighting with us,” said Zahid in a Facebook post.
“His contribution and service to Umno, BN and the BN government will never be erased in our nation’s history.”
Zahid said Najib defended Umno from attempts to “bury the party” when Pakatan Harapan governed the country, adding that he also helped to restore the party’s image thanks to his arguments based on “data and facts”, which he presented to his strong social media following.
Earlier, speaking to FMT on the condition of anonymity, an Umno leader had said that “the whole of Umno has gone quiet” regarding Najib’s case yesterday.
An Umno Supreme Council member, who also declined to be named, confirmed that some of the party’s WhatsApp groups were silent on the Federal Court’s decision.
Yesterday, a five-member panel of the apex court chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat dismissed Najib’s application to adduce additional evidence in his final appeal to prove that trial judge Nazlan Ghazali was under a serious conflict of interest when presiding over the SRC trial two years ago.
She said the application to adduce additional evidence did not fulfil the requirements of the law.
The court also denied Najib’s bid to postpone his appeal hearing by three to four months, with Tengku Maimun stating that it must proceed as scheduled.
Najib’s lead counsel, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, had requested the postponement as he said the defence needed more time to prepare for the case, which they took over less than a month ago.
The court previously fixed 10 days – Aug 15 to 26 – to hear Najib’s final appeal to quash his conviction for abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over SRC funds amounting to RM42 million.
His conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8 last year, as was his 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine.
However, Najib was released on bail pending his final appeal before the Federal Court.