PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak today sought to clarify Barisan Nasional secretary-general Ahmad Maslan’s recent remarks on “cruel” court cases against Umno leaders being continued by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
Ahmad had been quoted as saying that one of Umno’s disagreements with PPBM and PN was how the ruling government had continued with court cases against certain party leaders. Ahmad had said this outweighed the party’s dissatisfaction over positions in the government.
Najib clarified that the Pontian MP was only lamenting how the PN government had failed to correct the abuse of power by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.
He said many, including “certain Umno leaders”, had also intentionally taken Ahmad’s comments out of context on the cases that were being referred to.
According to Najib, Maslan’s statement had specifically referred to the forfeiture cases and compound fines imposed on various people, including those in the party.
“Why did 80 persons have seizure orders issued against them while 41 others were charged and fined up to 10 times the amount of money paid by me when the issue was that they had received payments from me?
“The reality is that simply receiving payments from me some years ago is not a crime. The recipient wouldn’t know the source of these funds.
“Also, Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and Mustapa Mohamad had received payments from me but there was no action against them after they jumped (to PPBM). However, Ahmad and Shahrir Samad were charged in court,” Najib said in a Facebook post.
He maintained that PH had abused its powers in prosecuting Umno leaders, citing the appointments of Tommy Thomas, Latheefa Koya and Richard Malanjum as attorney-general, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief and chief justice respectively.
“Do you still want to deny that there was no abuse of power or manipulation of the Malaysian legal system?”
Annuar Musa, who Ahmad recently replaced as BN secretary-general, had cited his successor’s “cruel court cases” remarks in a report, saying this confirmed that Umno’s potential split from PPBM was not due to a question of policies or services to the people.
“Judge for yourself,” Annuar had said in a Twitter post.