Shafie Apdal is the fifth leader of Umno to resign in recent weeks. He criticized the conduct of Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is accused of embezzling 681 million dollars.
Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Shafie Apdal, vice-president of the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), resigned two weeks after criticising Prime Minister Najib Razak over a multi-billion dollar financial scandal involving a state-owned fund. Najib has faced intense pressure following revelations that 1 million had been deposited into his personal account. “Justice is not being done. There is no justice in the way UMNO is being run,” Shafie said on Monday at a rally in his home constituency of Semporna.
Shafie is the latest among several party officials to leave or be sacked after criticising Prime Minister Najib Razak. Last month the party’s supreme council fired deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. It also suspended Shafie, pending investigations into his conduct by the disciplinary board. All three leaders have been sharp critics of Najib, calling for his resignation following the allegations of graft and mismanagement at 1MDB.
In July 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that millions had found their way into the personal bank accounts of Malaysia’s prime minister. Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali said he was satisfied that the funds in Najib's account were "not a form of graft or bribery" and were given by the Saudi family. Another Saudi source told the BBC that the Saudis gave Najib US$ 681 million so that his UMNO could win the 2013 election.
The sackings and Shafie’s suspension sparked an internal revolt, with local UMNO leaders in Semporna resigning en-bloc in protest. Earlier on Monday, Shahruddin Md Salleh, an UMNO state legislator from Muhyiddin’s home state of Johor, quit all his party posts.