KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi brought predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Razak on as an adviser to have another accused person keep him company, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin asserted yesterday.
Writing on his personal blog, the former New Straits Times group chief editor pointed out that Zahid, Najib, and BN treasurer Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor were all facing charges of corruption from their time in the previous government.
“This is how BN chairman and Umno president Zahid finds birds of a feather among those charged in court.
“Zahid needs Najib as a companion as he must not feel safe when surrounded by Umno/BN leaders who are free from charges,” Kadir said.
He also pointed out that this was the first thing Zahid did after resuming his duties as Umno president.
The Umno president was also possibly hoping that Najib’s “Bossku” phenomenon would rub off on him, Kadir said.
Kadir alleged that Zahid needed Najib to prop up his own leadership of Umno that was not universally welcome.
He further asserted that there were sections of the Malay nationalist party that were warming to the permanent leadership of Zahid’s deputy, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, and possibly that of former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
Kadir also suggested that Zahid was incapable of building on Mohamad’s efforts to partner with PAS while preserving the goodwill of MCA and MIC, Umno’s last remaining partners in BN.
“For now, Zahid’s return and Najib’s appointment doesn’t show any positive effects. Instead, Umno that was beginning to consolidate under Mohamad is again returning to divisiveness, factionalism and finger-pointing,” he concluded.
Khairy and former Umno strongman Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz both openly disputed BN’s move to appoint Najib as the chairman of its advisory board, with Nazri now engaged in a public spat with the former prime minister.
Khairy, who previously said he was “happy” to remain in Umno, also said he no longer felt the same way.
The internal hostilities in the Malay nationalist party are also happening at a time when the ruling Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia is openly courting its rival’s lawmakers to cross over into Pakatan Harapan.