Just when the PM should feel strengthened by pledges of support, new pressures have emerged.

Even as he receives pledges of support that should boost his confidence, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak faces new and unexpected pressures in his political battle with former premier Mahathir Mohamad.

Yesterday’s news reports on statements by controversial businessman Taek Jho Low and retired police chief Musa Hassan have spoilt it for Najib, former information minister Zainuddin Maidin says in a brief blog article.

Demands for Jho Low to be investigated following his outburst against Umno Youth and Musa’s call for the re-opening of the Altantunya case have strengthened Mahathir’s hand in the eyes of the public, according to Zainuddin.

In a recent interview with the magazine Euromoney, Jho Low criticised Umno politicians, especially Umno Youth members, for attributing 1MDB’s failure to him.

Among other things, he said, “These Umno guys are spin masters” and that they spewed “nonsense”.

The remarks angered Umno Youth leaders. Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin called for a hastened investigation into Jho Low’s involvement with the debt-ridden government-owned company and Umno Youth executive councillor Ibdillah Ishak called for the audit on 1MDB to be carried out “without protecting anyone’s interests.”

Former IGP Musa, in a press interview yesterday, said police must answer Mahathir’s question of who gave the order for the killing of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006. The policemen convicted for the murder was at the time Najib’s bodyguards.

Musa said the re-investigation should focus on finding the answer to Mahathir’s question.

Zainuddin notes various reports that allege that Jho Low was closely associated with Najib and his family. The call from within Umno for an investigation into the businessman’s involvement with 1MDB, he says, has boosted Mahathir’s credibility since the former prime minister has been asking for the same thing.

Nevertheless, he adds, Musa’s call was a worse blow on Najib, who has consistently denied that he knew Altantuya and has also rubbished a claim by one of Altantuya’s killers that he was acting under orders. Free Malaysia Today 

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