Support for Najib no match for Dr M’s influence in Umno, say party insiders

Despite the declarations of unwavering support in Umno for Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the face of mounting criticism, party insiders said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s substantial influence in the party may decide Najib’s fate.

They said the party’s support for Najib was not enough to retain him as prime minister, but more worrying, they added, was that Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) would face greater losses in the next general election.

Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (pic) said although the majority of Umno members appeared to support Najib as president, many were divided whether to support him or Dr Mahathir.

“I see that Umno’s support towards Najib is not only from top leaders but also the grassroots. But there are some in Umno who differ in their opinion.

“Fact is, Tun Dr M is still influential among Umno people,” Bung told The Malaysian Insider.

On Saturday, Dr Mahathir explicitly told Umno to remove Najib in order to save the party and the ruling coalition from greater losses in the next general election.

He said Najib was incompetent to lead the nation as prime minister because he has failed to explain the whereabouts of government-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) funds.

While many Umno leaders have declared their support for Najib and have publicly defended him, the history and pattern of Malay politics have shown that it is not impossible for them to suddenly change their tune.

“Right now, Umno members are still calculating who will be the winner and the loser. That is why no one is aggressive yet,” a party activist from Kedah, who wanted to be known as Ramli Yunus, told The Malaysian Insider.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir said many people have expressed their support for his criticism of Najib but did not dare to do so openly for fear of arrest.

Support for Najib no match for Dr M’s influence in Umno, say party insiders
20 April 2015 – TMI


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