PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – It is not over yet for Umno even after the imprisonment of former party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said Umno president Zahid Hamidi on Friday (Aug 26).
Zahid, who is facing multiple graft charges himself, said that many detractors had predicted that the party will be completely vanquished after the imprisonment of Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib.
“They are hoping that their plans and tricks will be made easier to be implemented, clearly they are making a wrong move,” he said in a statement, referring to Umno’s critics.
“Najib’s story will not be the end of the struggle to restore prosperity in the country. Instead, it will be a strengthening ‘charm’ for us to work together and boost our high spirits for our struggles.”
The Federal Court on Tuesday upheld Najib’s conviction, 12-year jail sentence and a RM210 million (S$65 million) fine for misappropriating RM42 million of SRC International, a subsidiary of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
A five-member bench led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat dismissed the former prime minister’s appeal to dismiss the conviction and sentence imposed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 28, 2020.
Zahid said that many detractors had also predicted that it will be over for Umno after the 14th General Election when the Barisan Nasional coalition it leads was defeated for the first time.
“They wanted to completely end Umno’s lifeline, but thanks to our collective determination, we managed to stop them. Let us together move forward and fight for Umno’s revival,” he added.
Najib is facing four other cases involving tampering with a 1MDB audit report, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.
One day after his conviction, supporters of the influential former prime minister started rallying outside the national palace in Kuala Lumpur for a royal pardon that could allow the as-yet member of parliament to contest the country’s general elections.