KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has no plans to distance itself from former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak after the High Court ordered him to enter his defence for seven charges in the SRC International corruption trial involving the alleged misappropriation of RM42mil in SRC funds, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Umno president said the party's position remains the same despite any court cases or investigations against Najib.
He added that the case would not affect the spirit and support for Barisan Nasional in the Tanjung Piai by-election.
"He (Najib) came (to campaign) Sunday night (Nov 10) and the response was still extraordinary.
"Whoever wants to help us, we will give (them) as much space as possible – not only to explain issues but to give full support to the Barisan candidate," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Monday (Nov 11).
Earlier, it was reported that Najib was ordered by the High Court to enter his defence for seven charges in the SRC International trial.
High Court judge Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali made the order after ruling that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against the Pekan MP.
Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the case would not have much impact in the by-election.
He said most of the local issues were about the cost of living, as well as the livelihoods of fishermen and smallholders.
Ismail also noted that the party would not distance itself from Najib.
"This involves personal issues. Najib had also said the case has nothing to do with Umno.
"He will proceed with the case in court and other leaders have also gone to court for other cases.
"This is personal in nature and does not involve the party.
"However, we will still give him our moral support," he said.