PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has broken ranks with the federal opposition, backing Najib Abdul Razak to stay on as prime minister.
"He should not succumb to pressure and he should be allowed to solve the problems he is facing.
"I agree with him that he should not step down and I must say that he should be given a chance to finish his term," he was quoted as saying in Kuala Terengganu by The Star Online.
Abdul Hadi’s endorsement comes amid urgings for Najib, who is also finance minister, to step down over cash-strapped 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which is struggling to repay its RM42 billion debt.
Abdul Hadi added there was no need to push Najib out over 1MDB as there had been similar controversies before under different leaderships.
“This is not entirely new. Before 1MDB, we also had problems with Perwaja (Steel Sdn Bhd) and Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), just to name a few.
“It is a shame to pressure him to step down as we should practice a healthy democratic system,” he was quoted as saying.
However, he said the rakyat can punish Najib if has done wrong at when his term expires and polls are due.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has relentlessly attacked Najib over the Finance Ministry-owned 1MDB, demanding that he quit as prime minister.
Tabung Haji fiasco
1MDB’s move to sell part of its Tun Razak Exchange (TX) land to Lembaga Tabung Haji in an apparent bid to raise funds to repay its debt has also ruffled feathers within Umno.
Najib yesterday met with the top Umno leadership in a bid to show a united front, insisting that there is no split and that all is well with his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, who had criticised him over 1MDB.
Tabung Haji had paid RM188.5 million for 1.56 acres of the 70-acre Tun Razak Exchange land owned by 1MDB.
1MDB had purchased the entire 70 acres from the government for a mere RM194.1 million.
Najib later asked Tabung Haji to resell the land to a third party in a bid to defuse the controversy.
The purchase was seen as a bailout of 1MDB, prompting Muhyiddin to say that he was at a loss at how to explain the matter to the public.
“The rakyat wants to know why no one has been charged, why the 1MDB board has not been sacked, and about the position of the chief executive oficer and the prime minister as adviser,” he had said last Friday.
However, Najib yesterday accused certain quarters of trying to drive a wedge between him and his deputy, and said anyone wanting to do so will be “disappointed”.