Division grassroots leaders call on Dr M to stop attacking Najib

PETALING JAYA - Several Kelana Jaya Umno grassroots leaders have urged Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to cease his attacks on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that may damage the party.

Sungei Way Jaya Umno branch leader Ishak Maarof said as a respected statesman, Dr Mahathir should not openly criticise the Prime Minister, who has the mandate to lead the country.

If the attacks continue to persist, the grassroots leaders might find it difficult to explain things to the people on the ground, he added.

"We, as grassroots leaders, are worried that this may make the people more confused. If this continues, it will not bring any benefit to Barisan Nasional and the leadership.

"The Opposition and those with ill intentions will take advantage of the situation to destroy the party," he told a press conference here yesterday. He was joined by leaders from 11 other Umno branches.

Ishak said Dr Mahathir's demands for for Najib to step down as prime minister and Umno president would only cause matters to worsen.

"It is better for us to wait for a better time and platform to choose the party president or the prime minister. The party elections are not too far away. If we change now, we are worried that more problems may arise," he added.

Ishak said Najib should be given the chance to improve his leadership and right whatever mistakes, if any, that may have been made during his administration.

"Like it or not, we have to support him until the time comes to choose a new leader. We have to help him to govern the country, where support from all levels is important.

"We at the grassroots, urge Dr Mahathir to stop these attacks because they are unhealthy for the party and the leadership. Worse still, we are the ones who have to address the people on the ground," he added.

Ishak said Dr Mahathir should not compare Najib's leadership to his own tenure as prime minister, as times have changed.

"Some of the old ways during Dr Mahathir's time will not be suitable for today's world. As an influential statesman, he should guide the current leaders to strive for the better," he said.

Ishak also said he and the branch leaders felt compelled to make their voices heard to save the party.

"We are doing this to save the party, not to protect Najib. No matter who is leading the country, if we feel the leadership is not suitable, we will change it when the time comes."