Umno leaders downplay 'emergency' supreme council meeting with Malaysia PM Najib on Sunday

An "emergency" supreme council meeting reportedly took place between Malaysin PM Najib Razak and Umno leaders. PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Umno leaders have played down a so-called "emergency" supreme council meeting which purportedly took place on Sunday night, saying that it was merely a casual session with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The Star reported that several supreme council members wanted to meet with Datuk Seri Najib, the party president, following a critical report in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) against him.

However, those who went to see Mr Najib were tight-lipped about what actually transpired at the meeting which took place at his official residence, Seri Perdana.

Several members of Mr Najib's inner circle also quashed rumours about any emergency meeting, saying the gathering was a "normal one among friends".

Umno Secretary-General Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor dismissed chatter that the session was an emergency Umno supreme council meeting.

"I don't know where this nonsense claim came from. I'm the secretary-general and I didn't call for an emergency meeting," he said.

Mr Tengku Adnan also said there was nothing unusual about Sunday's gathering, saying such sessions were held regularly.

Instead, he called on party members and the people to remain calm during these "challenging times".

"If we stick together, we can overcome challenges," said Mr Tengku Adnan.

A supreme council member who requested anonymity said they had requested to meet Mr Najib to have a "chit chat" in an informal setting.

"He invited us over to the residence and we talked about a lot of things," he said, while declining to elaborate when asked whether the allegations raised in WSJ last week were discussed.

Another attendee said not all of the supreme council members could make it for the session due to prior commitments.

"If it was an emergency meeting, they would also have to turn up right? So I'm telling you, it's not," he said.

WSJ and the Sarawak Report published an article on Friday quoting an "unnamed investigator", claiming that almost US$700 million (S$942 million) of 1MDB funds went into Mr Najib's personal accounts.

The Prime Minister's Office responded by saying that the articles were "political sabotage", while the 1MDB insisted that no funds had been transferred to Mr Najib's accounts.

Mr Najib has also refuted the claims, maintaining that the allegations are a political ploy engineered by his opponents in an attempt to topple him, among them former premier Mahathir Mohamad. The New York-based publication, however, insisted that their investigation was based on solid documentation.

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