KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 15): Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today denied claims that he is still interfering in the administration of UMNO, saying he is just defending his legacy.
He said ever since he resigned as UMNO president in May, current president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is free to decide on matters regarding the party’s direction and any major decision making.
Najib said this was evident when Ahmad Zahid decided on the candidate to run in the Sungai Kandis by-election.
“I am backing him (Ahmad Zahid) as the new president and giving him my cooperation but I am also entitled to defend my policies and clear misperceptions and manipulation of facts and figures by the new government.
“I think it is only fair, self defence is a right given to any individual and citizens and that’s why I am exercising my rights to explain our policies and the reasoning why we’ve done certain things,” he told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby today.
Najib was responding to calls from several UMNO’s leaders including former UMNO minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz who wants Najib to distance himself from Umno and allow the new leadership to rebuild the party.
Asked why he was present during the campaigning period of the Sungai Kandis by-election earlier this month, Najib said initially he was not keen to go down but he was invited by UMNO candidate Datuk Lokman Noor Adam.
Meanwhile, asked to comment on reports that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng would be tabling a motion in the Dewan Rakyat for the Auditor-General and Public Accounts Committee to reopen their probes into the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, Najib said that he was open to it and would not object.
“I have no objections because we want to find out the truth, in fact, the PAC (during the previous administration) had surmised that I committed no wrongdoing as prime minister and Finance Minister then.
“So if the PAC wants to reopen its probe, it is their right, but I hope it is not being done just to find faults in the previous government,” he added.