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More praise for Najib from PKR leadership

This comes as Anwar Ibrahim and the former prime minister take similar stands on several matters.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
PKR's Shamsul Iskandar Akin (right) praises Najib Razak for handing over power after being defeated in the 2018 election.
PKR's Shamsul Iskandar Akin (right) praises Najib Razak for handing over power after being defeated in the 2018 election.

A PKR MP has poured praise on Najib Razak as party leaders move to end hostilities in the wake of the many public statements by their president Anwar Ibrahim in alignment with the former prime minister as well as several Umno politicians.

Yesterday, Hang Tuah Jaya MP Shamsul Iskandar Akin, among Anwar’s loyalists in the top echelons of PKR, said Najib had shown good leadership when he conceded defeat to Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the 2018 general election.

Speaking to news channel Astro Awani last night, Shamsul, the PKR information chief, said Najib could have used state powers to disrupt the transition of power from Barisan Nasional to PH.

“Look at Najib. I once mentioned in the Dewan Rakyat, ‘He’s the most hated prime minister.’

“But when he lost the 14th general election, he handed over. At that time, we had all sorts of things, the ‘National Security Council’, it could be used to create chaos and so on, but it didn’t happen,” he said.

Shamsul then hit out at Muhyiddin Yassin, saying the prime minister’s administration had brought about “uncertainty”.

The comments follow a plan by Anwar to cooperate with Umno.

The PKR strongman recently admitted that his party had been in talks with Umno for a possible tie-up at the next polls.

Such an understanding was already at play as early as October last year, when MalaysiaNow revealed the contents of a letter from Najib and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to the palace, expressing support for Anwar’s bid to become prime minister.

Last month, in an episode which embarassed Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders, Zahid and Anwar issued two separate but almost identical statements calling for Parliament to convene during the virus emergency. The statement by Zahid, issued his capacity as BN chairman, was later withdrawn.

Since last year, Anwar and Najib have been taking similar stands on many issues, such as on pressing the government to allow bigger withdrawals from the Employees Provident Fund as well as questioning the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Their coming together, however, has raised concerns among several opposition MPs.

At least eight MPs have issued statements warning Anwar against any move to work with Umno and “kleptocrats”, a term first used by the US authorities in exposing billions of dollars siphoned off from the 1MDB scandal in which Najib was embroiled.