PETALING JAYA: Any continuing push for Najib Razak’s release from prison will likely weaken support for Pakatan Harapan, a DAP leader said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the leader said any attempt by PH to secure a pardon for the jailed former prime minister will backfire on the coalition and weaken the support of the non-Malays.
“The middle-class Malays who supported PH will also retreat if we actually attempt to secure a pardon for him,” said the leader.
He added that those who continue to support PH in future elections may end up doing so for the wrong reasons.
“People will vote for you not because they have hope in you, but because they just don’t want PAS.
“It will not reflect well on PH if we choose to also protest for his release, because then there will be distrust,” the DAP veteran said.
Meanwhile, a PKR leader said the recent Umno protest for Najib’s pardon reflects badly on PH.
“Now that we are in a unity government, people associate us (PH) with Umno. That is how we have presented ourselves in recent by-elections.
“PH supporters are already disappointed at us for choosing to work with Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Now, when they see Umno protesting in support of Najib, it will create more anger,” said the division leader.
An Amanah leader said party members are wondering how to counter the Najib narrative.
“People have somewhat accepted the cooperation between PH and BN, but our supporters will not be happy to see Najib released.
“It may benefit Umno for the purpose of its revival, but will not do us (PH) any justice,” he said.
Over last weekend, more than 2,000 Umno members gathered outside the National Mosque to call for former party president Najib to be granted a royal pardon.
During the rally protesters chanted the slogan “Pulangkan Najib”, which was also emblazoned on the t-shirts they were wearing.
On July 28, 2020, Najib was convicted by Justice Nazlan Ghazali, then a High Court judge, for abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the SRC International Bhd case, involving funds amounting to RM42 million.
His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed on Dec 8, 2021.
Najib began his 12-year prison term on Aug 23, 2022 immediately following the Federal Court’s dismissal of his final appeal.