UMNO leaders Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Khairy Jamaluddin have dismissed claims that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s appointment as Barisan Nasional adviser was due to his influence on young voters.
Their views came after Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said that Najib’s appointment was partly due to his “Bossku” trend, which appealed to the youth.
Nazri said Najib was opposed to the voting age being lowered to 18.
“His opinion doesn’t count anymore as we (Barisan) are now supporting lowering the voting age.
“He is no longer the authoritative voice,” Nazri said when met at the Parliament lobby.
“What does he (Tajuddin) know about the youth?” Khairy asked rhetorically when met separately at the Parliament lobby.
Nazri and Khairy were asked to comment on Tajuddin’s statement that Najib’s recent appointment was partly due to the “Bossku” brand.Tajuddin claimed that Najib continued to enjoy some degree of influence among the youth.
Najib, he added, could help Barisan as his influence among the youth should not be underestimated, especially if the voting age is lowered to 18.
“All these young people will be a political force in the next election, together with the Bossku phenomenon,” Tajuddin said when met at the Parliament lobby.
Both Nazri and Khairy expressed their disappointment over Najib’s appointment as Barisan adviser, which was announced by Barisan secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor last Tuesday.
However, Najib’s new post would not hinder political cooperation between Umno and PAS, said the Islamist party’s deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
He added that Najib’s appointment was made specifically by Barisan and not Umno.
“Najib’s appointment is for Barisan, and as for PAS, we will only deal with Umno as a party and not with the individual.
“His appointment will not have any effect on our cooperation,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
During the 65th PAS muktamar on June 22, a motion was passed by PAS to seal a political agreement with Umno.
PAS acknowledged that it was cooperating with Umno based on the principle of taawun (cooperation for the benefit of Islam).
The motion, which was unanimously passed, wants PAS to forge stronger ties based on tahaluf siyasi (political cooperation).
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the party’s syura council had in principle approved the party’s political cooperation with Umno.