Nooryana Najwa pledges to bolster Umno support using Puteri wing platform

Nooryana Najwa, daughter of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has pledged to use the Umno party’s Puteri wing as a means to strengthen support and maintain the party’s power. She also advised caution regarding the party’s new allies in the unity government. In her first speech as a delegate from the wing, Nooryana emphasised her father’s contributions and sacrifices for Umno, and the alleged suffering he has experienced as a result.

According to Nooryana, Najib’s leadership exemplified Umno’s struggle, and forgetting him would mean forgetting the party’s core values. She warned against complacency and dependence on other parties’ support, stressing the need to defend Umno’s own strengths.

Before Najib’s imprisonment, Nooryana remained distant from political matters. However, she has now become the face of the party’s “Free Bossku” movement, utilising the Puteri wing as a platform to advocate for justice for her father, who she claims was wrongly convicted due to an unfair trial. “Bossku” is a nickname adopted by Najib during a campaign to win over voters after the Barisan Nasional coalition was defeated.

The choice to allow Nooryana to speak was likely intentional, as securing Najib’s freedom remains a key agenda within the party. Almost a year has passed since the former Umno president was convicted and jailed for embezzling funds from a 1MDB subsidiary, SRC International. During this year’s congress, thousands of members and delegates chanted “Free Bossku” as Umno chief Ahmad Zahid Hamidi delivered his policy speech.

Zahid, now one of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s two deputies, is leading the party’s push for Najib to receive a royal pardon. This move is believed to be causing tensions at the grassroots level, as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) votes primarily come from voters who are uncompromising in their stance against corruption and holding powerful individuals accountable. In contrast, a significant portion of Umno’s core supporters have explicitly called for Najib’s release.

In her emotional speech, Nooryana described Najib as a selfless leader who prioritised Umno and its less fortunate members over his own family. She lamented that his sacrifices were quickly forgotten once Umno lost power. Concluding her speech, Nooryana tearfully recited a line from her father’s journal, which she believes demonstrates his commitment to the party: “Protect our home. Protect our struggle. Protect our race because Umno is our duty.” She then implored for justice for her father, asking for his immediate release from prison and return to their family.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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