Umno's maverick duo Nazri Abdul Aziz and Khairy Jamaluddin today poured scorn on party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for extending a political lifeline to Najib Abdul Razak.
At a press conference in Padang Rengas, Perak this morning, the duo seamlessly concurred with each other that the decision was one that was personal and not in the party's interest.
According to Nazri, the decision was not one made by the Umno supreme council, of which he is a member.
"There was never even a discussion," said Nazri during a press conference, after officiating the AGM for the Padang Rengan Umno division, which he leads.
Khairy, who was the guest of honour at the event, said it would be "insane" to expect BN and Umno achieving different results with Najib in an influential position.
Nazri also pointed out the new BN adviser was someone who did not have a good track record in leading the coalition into elections.
"(Najib) had his chance. Two elections. It didn't get better (for BN). It got worse.
"(Najib) should step aside, just as how he used to urge Pak Lah (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, above) to do so (in 2009). He used the excuse that this was to prevent BN's election performance from getting worse.
"Next round (during the 2013 election), we lost more seats. (Najib) should have left then. Now he wants (to lead) again. He doesn't understand," said Nazri.
'Behave like a president'
The duo also urged Zahid to "behave like the party president" and do what is best for the party, instead of certain individuals.
They both stressed that they were not trying to form a movement to challenge the party leadership, but were merely voicing their disagreements on policy, which is allowed in the party.
They also both stressed that they have no intentions of leaving Umno.
Nazri also warned that the decision to remove critics did not bode well for the party, citing how Mohd Shafie Apdal (below) and Muhyiddin Yassin had flourished since their removal in 2015.
On the Najib's supporters' claim that he was the victim of "fitnah" (slander), Nazri said it is no longer fitnah because there are court proceedings now, while Khairy pointed out there are already settlements in 1MDB related cases in the US and locally.
Earlier in his officiation speech, Nazri speculated that Najib might still be harbouring intentions of becoming prime minister again.
He said that Najib was likely planning to do so in view of Umno's current good relations with PAS, which could brighten BN's chances.
"Does he want to be prime minister again? He should step aside for younger people. Cukuplah (enough)," he said.