Najib insists not interfering in Umno's affairs, endorses Zahid as top leader

Suhael Adnan

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied causing problems in Umno as claimed by his once-staunch loyalists.

The Pekan member of parliament said he had never interfered with Umno's affairs since stepping down as prime minister and party president.

He pointed out that current Umno president, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was unquestionably the top leader of the party.

“I don’t think that there is a problem because since I left and resigned (as prime minister and party president), I have not interfered with the administration of Umno.

“Zahid is very free to make decisions. For example, on the question of office bearers, candidates for the Sungai Kandis by-election and all that, I am backing him in his capacity as party president and giving him the (necessary) cooperation as well,” Najib said when met at the Parliament lobby today.

Several Umno leaders had made calls for the party to distance itself from the former prime minister, in an effort to drive Umno forward following the defeat in the 14th General Election.

Meanwhile, Najib added that it was only fair for him to defend himself to clear misconceptions.

“But I am also entitled to defend my policies, and clear the wrong perception, and some of the (alleged) manipulation of facts and figures by the new government.

“I think it is only fair. self defence is a right, given to any individual, citizen, that is why I am exercising my right to explain our policies and reasoning on why we had done certain things.

“It is my duty to explain, in self defence. That is the only thing I’m doing, because I am also a lawmaker, and occasionally I will speak in the parliament because that’s my duty.” © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd