Umno grassroots face call for acceptance, renewed pardon efforts

Umno rebuts reports of division over Najib's pardon decision

07 Feb 2024 10:18am
Umno will file an appeal to Sultan Ibrahim to obtain full pardon for Najib. - FILE PIX
Umno will file an appeal to Sultan Ibrahim to obtain full pardon for Najib. - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - All grassroots Umno members, including Datuk Seri Najib Razak supporters, need to accept and 'move forward' in facing the issue of his failure to receive a full pardon from the Federal Territories Pardons Board on Jan 29.

While acknowledging disappointment among "Bossku" supporters, Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Dr Shafie Abdullah urged for unity and continued efforts for his release.

"When the Pardons Board decision was announced, we were hurt but all grassroots need to accept and move forward.

"If we want to lament that decision, it will not solve the problem.

"If we keep pointing fingers at anyone, efforts to free Najib will not only fail, but Umno will become weaker.

"So, the best solution to ensure Bossku's fate continues to be defended is for the grassroots to unite with the existing leadership," he told Sinar yesterday.

He said this in response to the reaction of Umno grassroots, especially pro-Najib supporters, to the former Pekan MP's failure to receive a full pardon from the Pardons Board.

On Sunday, Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi met with Umno division chiefs to clarify the pardon board's decision on Najib's sentence.

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However, there were reports that some Umno division chiefs did not attend the meeting with Zahid in Kuala Lumpur, which is believed to be due to disappointment over Najib's recent fate.

Several local media reports stated that 145 out of 191 division chiefs attended the meeting held at the Kuala Lumpur World Trade Center (WTC).

This means that 46 Umno division chiefs did not attend.

Commenting further, Shafie, who is also the Wangsa Maju Umno division chief, said since the power of pardon lies under the prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Umno grassroots cannot demand immediate pardon as that action is considered disrespectful to the royal institution's authority.

"However, we hope for the mercy of the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Ibrahim, to review Najib's new pardon application earlier.

"I also reject the claim that most Umno division chiefs did not attend the closed-door meeting with the president on Sunday.

"What I saw was that almost everyone was present, and we agreed to have the party resubmit Najib's second royal pardon application to the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong," he said.

Shafie also stressed that the implications of the Pardons Board decision on Najib further strengthen Umno members' solidarity.

"All Bossku supporters realise that we have no choice but to ensure grassroots and top leadership reunite.

"If we are divided, Najib will ultimately not be able to be freed from the injustice he received.

"When Umno becomes weaker, our efforts to free Bossku will also become more difficult," he reiterated.

Meanwhile, Umno Tambun division chief Datuk Aminuddin Md Hanafiah has assured that the majority of division chiefs who attended the closed-door meeting with Zahid were satisfied with the explanation given.

He said the readiness of the Umno leadership to provide immediate explanations to the grassroots proves the party's commitment and seriousness in resolving all confusion regarding Najib's pardon issue.

"Through the closed-door meeting, it is clear that the party will not allow Najib's pardon issue to be prolonged without any explanation.

"To ensure that the explanation of Najib's pardon process reaches the grassroots level, the state Umno chairmen also took the initiative to meet with each political bureau leader of the Umno division in their respective states to clarify the confusion regarding the Bossku issue.

"We do not want the ‘Najib issue’ to linger and create unnecessary polemics.

"I hope the grassroots can accept the explanation from the top leadership and respect the decision of the royal institution," he said.