Now, Umno veep calls for party to distance itself from Najib

Azril Annuar
Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin says Umno can no longer afford to rely on its past while allowing someone who is under trial for various accounts of corruption and money laundering to hold so much influence over the party. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 ― Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin has joined the growing chorus within Umno’s ranks for the party to distance themselves from Datuk Seri Najib Razak. 

The Umno vice-president echoed similar remarks made by secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa and division chief Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

In a press statement today, Mohamed Khaled said Umno can no longer afford to rely on its past while allowing someone who is under trial for various accounts of corruption and money laundering to hold so much influence over the party.

“It (moving forward and reforming) will be made more impossible when Umno still lives in its own labyrinth, reminiscing the past and allows a man who is under a legal trial to be significantly involved in the party.

“Yes, we should treat him (Najib) with honour and respect. But we also should move on from what has passed. It is Najib Razak who is on trial, not Umno,” said Mohamed Khaled.

Agreeing with his colleague Johari, the former minister said that the Malay-based party must retreat to the very philosophy and foundation that the party was built upon; a party that upholds the Malay interests and at the same time, does not look down on other races for its quest to power.

Mohamed Khaled quoted sociologist Shaharuddin Maaruf, who had concluded that the Malay elites are not ashamed of their wrongdoings which runs contrary to the teachings of Islam.

He also quoted Muslim philosopher Jalaluddin al-Afghani who had once argued that religion is important because it instills feelings of shame.

“By ‘shame' here it refers to the ability of the Muslims to hold back from committing injustices, in any form prohibited by God, and pushes them to seek enlightenment and progress through knowledge.

“Reflecting upon the arguments above, Shaharuddin Maaruf concluded that the Malay elites are not ashamed of their wrongdoings. They take pride in their lawlessness and do not advocate for right, virtuous achievements,” he said.

“They are not ashamed of committing multiple shades of injustices, like social greed and opportunism to name a few,” Mohamed Khaled observed.

He reminded members of the party that the narratives they used to subscribe to and their rejection by voters was evident in GE14 as well as the Sg Kandis by-election.

The party veteran added that the party cannot afford to remain delusional simply because they commanded the confidence of 46 per cent of the Malay voters, saying that Umno needs to look the demography of their Malay supporters and what values they subscribed to.

He said the party must cater to all Malays despite their background and more importantly to Malaysians as a whole.

“He (Johari Abdul Ghani) also stated that his intention is to see a strong, inclusive, credible and dependable Umno in the future and to reform is the only way we can acquire back such values.

“His contention is clear. This is not just Najib Razak in the limelight, this is more than what he has done, or allegedly did, the perception that surrounded the allegations and how it costed the party.

“This is about the survival of Umno as a whole, as a Malay, and should be a Malaysian institution. A body that stands for the many and fights for principles shared by the masses.

“This is also about, in my opinion, what Umno must be, post GE14 and PRK Sungai Kandis is the manifestation of the party and its reluctance in adjusting to the new reality,” he said.

He said that if the party continues to be in denial while being unable to admit its mistakes and discredit the injustices and corruption it has committed in the past, it can never move on.

“You give me some when you were in power, therefore I shall not hold you accountable to your wrongdoings, forever”. This narrative must go and must be replaced by the real feeling of ‘shame' against wrongdoings and injustices.

“Power nor material benefits cannot put aside the fact that the feudal elites are still servants of God and are also answerable to the people under his or her purview, and not just for the political survival of one,” he said.