Wanita Umno will continue to support Datuk Seri Najib Razak although it respects the criticisms made by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad against the prime minister.
The wing's chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (pic) said it was not easy for Najib to embark on his transformation plans and it is the wisdom of the premier in running the country well that ensured Barisan Nasional (BN) continued to helm the country.
"The transformation led by Najib is not an easy job. His intelligence, openness and inclusiveness have ensured that BN is the government and is defending the country's security and ensuring development at a time when the opposition is out to create chaos," she said in a statement today.
"At the same time, Wanita Umno respects and appreciates the views, ideas and criticisms from any quarters, including previous Umno presidents Dr Mahathir or Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi," she added.
Dr Mahathir, Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister, had on Monday lashed out against Najib, saying he was withdrawing his support for the prime minister as his criticism had fallen on deaf ears.
“I have tried to give my views to him directly, which are also the views of many people who have met me," Dr Mahathir wrote in his blog.
"I have no choice but to withdraw my support. This has not been effective so I have to criticise," he said, adding that Najib was no better than Abdullah.
Later that night, Dr Mahathir said his criticism against Najib was not personal and it did not mean that the PM should resign from his post.
Instead, the statesman was unhappy with Najib's policies and his soft approach which he claimed did not benefit the country.
Shahrizat said the wing is giving its full support for Najib due to his vision, strength and wisdom in understanding the current political, economic and social landscape to ensure Malaysia continued to be peaceful, democratic and respected globally.
"We appreciate the contributions of Dr Mahathir, but Najib’s leadership is timely and is fully supported by Wanita," she said.
The former minister believed the closeness and sharing of views on current issues between Najib and Dr Mahathir would be able to strengthen Umno and BN further.
Yesterday, former BN representatives had urged Dr Mahathir to stop his "cold war" with Najib, saying the former premier could give his constructive criticism to Najib if it was done in a manner of a "family discussion" rather than criticise the prime minister openly.
"Mubarak is disappointed with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's open criticism on the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
"The implication of this openness will affect the struggle which Tun (Dr Mahathir) himself admitted as being unfinished, especially now that it has confused members of the party and the people as a whole," said Malaysian Council of Former Elected Representatives (Mubarak) president Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman.
Umno ministers had also rallied around Najib following Dr Mahathir's outburst, telling the former strongman to give Najib a chance. – August 20, 2014.