Tajuddin: Unfair for Umno members to demand Najib step away from party

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin

Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said Umno members who have publicly said Datuk Seri Najib Razak is a liability to the party do not deserve to remain in the party. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 — Umno members calling for former president Datuk Seri Najib Razak to keep a distance from the party due to his alleged scandals are acting unfairly, an MP said today.

Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said party members should not chide the former prime minister for the sake of gaining power.

“Don’t be power hungry and throw away your principles and self-pride, let’s win with principles; fight with integrity and credibility, this is important,” he said.

He did not clarify what he meant by “power hungry”.

Tajuddin leapt to Najib’s defence, saying the negative opinions about him remain only as a perception for now, as he is yet to be proven guilty.

“The perception has not been proven whether it’s true or not; these allegations. These (allegations are) in the process of investigation, in the process of trial.

“So how can we assume someone is guilty before he is proven wrong, it’s not fair if we abandon him,” said Tajuddin.

Umno leaders such as Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin and Padang Renggas MP Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz have called for Najib to distance himself from the party as it would allow the new leadership to shape the party without interference.

“He is being put on trial in the Dewan Rakyat, being put on trial on social media; the Dewan and social media is not a place to put somebody on trial, that is the court of law.

“Where is the proof to punish him like that, it’s not fair,” he said.

Tajuddin then defended several party members, saying they were not against him, but rather influence by public perception.

“They are not against him, they have the opinion that he is a liability, meaning he becomes a burden to the party, bringing it inconveniences.

“If people think he has already been found guilty; then people like this do not deserve to remain in the party. If he is guilty, if he’s convicted, then the people are right,” he said.

Tajuddin said if indeed Najib is found guilty for his alleged offences, he himself would take the initiative to ask the former president to take a back seat.

“If (he is) proven (guilty) tomorrow, I myself will ask him to take a step back.

“I would tell him, Mr Najib, take a rest, sit down and take a back seat. But until then, if you do that, it’s not fair,” he added.