Najib Razak has come clean on his widely talked-of support for Anwar Ibrahim, in a frank admission that he had called fellow Barisan Nasional MPs to back the PKR leader in a plan to bring down Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
In a Facebook post which triggered a chain of strong responses against the former prime minister, Najib said he had proposed to BN MPs today that the coalition either demand a date for a general election once the Covid-19 crisis is over, or enter into negotiations to work with other parties including Anwar.
“If we could cooperate with Muhyiddin and Azmin (Ali) in February at a time when PPBM (Bersatu) was our enemy, which took away many Umno MPs, why can’t we talk with Anwar for a conditional cooperation until the 15th general election?” he said.
Adding that he had made it clear that any such cooperation would not involve DAP, Najib said an alliance with Anwar should ensure that Umno is given a greater role in the financial and economic direction of the country.
He accused Bersatu of monopolising top government posts, adding that no Umno representative had been appointed to Putrajaya’s Economic Action Council.
The former Umno president also questioned MalaysiaNow’s report on what transpired during a meeting of BN MPs this afternoon, calling it inaccurate.
MalaysiaNow had reported that Najib’s proposal to cooperate with Anwar was shot down by BN MPs.
The BN MPs had gathered to discuss the future of their cooperation with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Muhyiddin, a day after the Agong decided there was no need for a state of emergency as proposed by the prime minister.
Muhyiddin had made the proposal in the hope of preventing snap polls during the Covid-19 pandemic, following appeals from senior health officials to prevent a general election infection cluster.
There have been fears that any move by a group of MPs, including Najib, to reject the budget bill next month could see the collapse of the federal government and trigger an election.
On Oct 16, MalaysiaNow revealed that Najib and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had written a letter to the Agong in support of appointing Anwar as prime minister, just before the PKR leader’s royal audience on Oct 13.
Anwar’s plan to take over Putrajaya however collapsed after he failed to give details of his claim that he had the majority support of MPs.
In his post today, Najib said the current government’s thin majority had caused political instability “resulting in investors losing confidence as they fear investing when the government could collapse at any time”.
His post drew condemnation from his Facebook followers.
“Sorry Datuk Seri. Your posting this time is really a disappointment for everyone. What happened to the ‘no Anwar’ principle? Do you believe that Anwar as prime minister would not bring in DAP?
“Finally it’s all out in the open. No wonder you were silent about Anwar having the numbers,” said Zulkarnaen Abdullah Zulrini, whose comment was among more than 4,000 in response to Najib’s post.
Najib reminded his Facebook followers that he had repeatedly expressed disappointment with the government’s handling of Covid-19, adding that the spike in cases would be blamed on Umno too as it is part of the PN administration.
“Even if Umno is not part of the ministry, it will surely be blamed,” he said, adding that Umno could remain in the government as long as it could negotiate a better deal for the party.
He added that he would also abide by any decision made by the Umno Supreme Council, which is meeting as of press time.