Umno has lost its credibility and legitimacy to lead the country in light of recent scandals exposed in the media, said Parti Amanah Negara strategy director Dzulkefly Ahmad.
"For allowing, not only their party and its BN coalition to be embattled, but as well the entire nation to be beleaguered, in the eyes of the world, Umno has lost all legitimacy and credibility to govern this nation any longer.
"The rakyat and voters must get this loud and clear," Dzulkefly said in a statement today.
This is especially so, he added, after the "damning exposé" by Australia Broadcasting Corporation’s ( ABC ) Four Corners documentary and yesterday's The Wall Street Journal article on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and the financial scandals plaguing him.
Najib, he said, has further lost his credibility to lead BN in the next general election after those exposé.
"It will surely serve Umno and BN well to know that not only is Najib his own greatest enemy, but he has also become the greatest liability to Umno-BN, nay, the nation as a whole.
"But much to the chagrin of all and sundry, Umno deems it fit to remain muted, oblivious and astonishingly unperturbed," Dzulkefly said.
In most countries, leaders would have voluntarily resigned and had action taken against them for the sort of "scathing and extremely damaging revelations" against them such as in the recent reports, he pointed out.
No patriotism in BN
On the contrary, Najib seems to be getting "stronger and more vicious", creating a "state of fear", he noted, citing the title of the Four Corners documentary 'State of Fear: Money and Murder in Malaysia'.
For continuing to defend Najib, he said Umno and BN have shown themselves to be willing to place partisan interests over the interests of the country.
Dzulkefly, who is former Kuala Selangor MP, said despite BN’s pretence of patriotism, they have become an unpatriotic lot for not putting the interests of the country first.
"For adamantly defending Najib, either out of fear of retribution or under some false illusion that he had committed no crime, Umno must now pay heavily for this miscreant," he said.
In a separate statement, Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali has also called for Najib to step down following the "utterly shocking and scandalous" revelations by the WSJ that over US$1 billion was transferred to five of Najib's personal accounts between 2011 and 2014 as well as the 'Four Corners' documentary.
Lending further credence to the allegations is the fact that the Monetary Authority of Singapore has started investigating around 40 banks linked to transfers of funds related to 1MDB, he said.
"Without doubt these scandals bring further disrepute to the Umno-BN government of Najib who continues to cling to power in spite of repeated calls for his resignation. No leader has brought more shame to Malaysia’s reputation.
"In light of these latest exposé and considering that he has repeatedly failed to take legal action to clear his name, the only morally responsible course of action for Najib is to step down as prime minister," Azmin said in the statement.
These scandals once again underscore the importance of the Citizens' Declaration in demanding Najib's resignation and calling for institutional reforms to help restore the country's constitutional democracy, he added.
The ABC documentary aired Monday night, laid out what is purportedly details of Najib's personal bank accounts, which showed an "extraordinary and steady flow of money" between 2011 and 2014.
Meanwhile, the WSJ yesterday reported that Najib had given his brother, CIMB chairperson Nazir Razak, RM7 million to distribute to party machinery leading up to the 13th general election in 2013.
Nazir, however, told WSJ he had at the time believed the money came from legitimate sources.
WSJ draws 1MDB link
WSJ further reported that it has sighted Malaysian investigation documents that purportedly indicate that "the majority" of the funds originated from Najib's brainchild 1MDB.
Najib has repeatedly denied abusing public funds for personal gain and blamed such allegations on those attempting to topple him.
Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali has also cleared him of any wrongdoing with regard to the funds in his accounts, including the RM2.6 billion, which is claimed to be a donation from a Saudi royalty.
Government leaders have also accused WSJ of being part of the campaign against the prime minister, while 1MDB has criticised the publication of recycling unverified allegations.
On Tuesday, ABC also published a letter purportedly from a Saudi prince who had pledged US$375 million for Najib, and its journalist said the document “raises further and more difficult questions”.