Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is Umno's biggest liability in the next general election, said former Kedah menteri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
He said Umno would lose in the polls at both state and federal levels if Najib continued to lead the party.
“We may still feel comfortable now even though we are the opposition in the state, because the federal government is under Barisan Nasional (BN). So we can still survive,” he said in a speech in Kota Baru, Kelantan on March 7.
“But in the 14th general election, BN will fall in the states and at federal level as long as Najib remains as president. Believe this.
“If this happens, we will regret to no end. At that time, it will be too late,” he said in a video recording uploaded on pro-Umno blogger Din Turtle's webpage.
“This is why we press for Najib to step down immediately. We want him to leave and give up the post of prime minister at once.
“We will use the time we have, which is two more years before the polls, to fix the situation. I am not going to say we will have a good chance then, but at least it will be better than what we have now,” he said.
Mukhriz said the people's rejection of BN was more apparent of late.
“Ask anyone now – the youths, the old timers in cities and in rural areas – if they will support BN in the 14th general election or not. They shake their heads.”
Mukhriz stepped down as Kedah menteri besar last month following an internal coup by the state's Umno leaders who wanted him removed, citing a loss of confidence in him.
Prior to his resignation, Mukhriz had been critical of Najib over his handling of controversies affecting his administration such as the state sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad and RM2.6 billion donation scandals, and policies that burdened the people.
Mukhriz is one of the signatories of the Citizens’ Declaration initiated by his father, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is now leading the Save Malaysia movement seeking to oust Najib and implement institutional reforms. – March 13, 2016.