“Too much bad blood”: Najib-Muhyiddin reunion unlikely, say UMNO insiders

A REUNION between former prime ministers Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is unlikely as there is too much bad blood between them, said UMNO leaders.

People should not read too much into talks that a reunion was in the cards, two top party leaders, who spoke to FMT on condition of anonymity, said.

One leader said such talks were nothing more than an attempt by the Muhyiddin-led Bersatu to boost its credentials, seeing as to how the party was “losing strength” as more party MPs are pledging support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his unity government.

“They are losing strength, as you can see more Bersatu MPs are pledging support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. They are afraid that PAS will lose faith in them,” the leader told the news portal.

“Perhaps they believe that by hyping up a possible reunion between Muhyiddin and Najib they can ensure that PAS remains in Perikatan Nasional (PN).”

According to the leader, the reality was that the currently-incarcerated Najib remains a popular figure not just in UMNO but among PAS leaders as well.

Concurring, another UMNO reckoned that some in Bersatu were attempting to create the perception that Najib was open to working with them.

“Najib still has strong grassroots support within Umno, so they want to deal a blow to Umno,” the leader pointed out.

“There is real unhappiness among Najib supporters that he is still being denied justice and this is one of the key reasons why Umno has not been doing well in recent polls. But I can’t foresee a Najib-Muhyiddin reunion yet.”

Recall that Najib and Muhyiddin had a fallout in 2015 when the latter was dumped as deputy prime minister in a cabinet reshuffle. This is after Muhyiddin had called on Najib to explain a growing graft scandal at debt-laden state investment fund 1MDB.

The Pagoh MP was also demoted from his deputy UMNO president post in the same year, leading to his joining former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the formation of Bersatu.

However, Najib had previously said that Muhyiddin was sacked for conspiring against him with Dr Mahathir and his son Mukhriz since 2014.

According to the source, while there was bad blood between Muhyiddin and Najib, the same cannot be said for PN as a whole.

“PAS, which is the real power in PN, does not have issues with Najib,” the UMNO leader said.

Yesterday (Nov 8) Bersatu information chief Datuk Razali Idris said he had not ruled out the possibility of Muhyiddin joining forces with Najib despite their falling out following the 1MDB fiasco.

Razali also told FMT in a separate report that Muhyiddin would also not want to remain enemies with Najib, and that the Bersatu president was gracious and was open to working with anyone, including Dr Mahathir who had attacked him before.

Two-time prime minister Dr Mahathir had previously called Muhyiddin a traitor over this role in the Sheraton Move which led to the collapse of the first Pakatan Harapan government in 2020.

Mahathir had also hauled Muhyiddin to court for sacking him from Bersatu, the party he had co-founded.

“But now, they can meet, talk and cooperate,” Razali said. – Nov 9, 2023

 

Main pic credit: AFP/Getty Images

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