Umno lost its way under Najib, says Tamrin Ghafar
UPDATED @ 01:04:33 PM 07-07-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Already facing possible expulsion, Tamrin Ghafar, the son of former deputy prime minister and Umno strongman Tun Ghafar Baba, has again criticised the party’s leadership for straying from its “original struggle”.
The former Bukit Berendam MP told The Malaysian Insider last night that, under Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership, Umno has been trampling on the rights of Malaysians instead of defending them.
“Umno has strayed from the original struggle of its forefathers, who had prioritised the people more.
“Under Najib, Umno has stolen its people’s rights, instead of defended it,” he said.
He expressed disappointment that, since Najib succeeded Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2009, both the directions of Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno have changed drastically.
Tamrin, who has recently been active on Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) political stage, confirmed he had received a show-cause letter from Umno’s disciplinary committee on June 26 demanding he explain his criticisms against Najib’s leadership.
He has declined to reply, however, saying he would prefer to meet with the committee to explain his reasons “face to face”.
“I’ve been given 14 days to respond. But I refuse to do so in writing. Instead, I am seeking to meet with the committee to explain my actions to them personally,” he said, despite acknowledging that this may result in his sacking.
When asked of his plans to join other parties should he be sacked, Tamrin said he was yet to make a decision.
“Let’s wait for the committee’s decision first. I have not thought about joining other parties yet,” he added.
Tamrin first made an appearance in an opposition-backed event during a pre-Bersih 3.0 rally held in April at Kelab Sultan Sulaiman in Kampung Baru here.
Since then, the leader has been an active participant of PR events, and has even written to Najib to air his views on how Umno could recapture public support.
Tamrin’s father, Ghafar, had been deputy prime minister during the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration and had served under four prime ministers, including Tun Abdul Razak, who is Najib’s father.
The late Ghafar had also been the Malacca chief minister for some eight years from 1959 to 1967 although he had originally declined the post offered to him by Tunku Abdul Rahman.