21:37:44
Thursday
21 June 2018

Malaysia will soar higher with strong mandate for BN - Najib

Malaysia will soar higher with strong mandate for BN - Najib
PUTRAJAYA: A strong mandate for the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the coming general election will be the key to unleash more good things for Malaysians and bring the country to greater heights, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“What I’m asking for is not just a victory but also (the need for) a strong government so that we'll be able to deliver more for the people,” the Prime Minister told senior editors at his office here today as the 14th General Election (GE14) looms.

The BN chairman expressed his determination to make Malaysia one of the top nations in the world with strong economic growth that would benefit the country's over 30 million population.

“Our target is nothing short of being one of the top nations in the world, nothing short of that. I want Malaysia to be a first-tier nation and I’m determined to get us there,” said Najib, who took office as the prime minister in 2009.

Najib, who is leading the BN charge into the polls billed as the 'mother of all elections', believed that a strong mandate from the ‘rakyat’ for the BN would further strengthen the ringgit and boost Bursa Malaysia as well as foreign investment.

On the BN manifesto to be launched on Saturday, Najib said the main message would be to invite the people to be with the BN on the agenda to ‘Make Malaysia Great’.

“We've delivered and we stand by our track record of the past five years. And even before that, we've delivered. If you look at the hard facts, we've delivered. You cannot deny that fact,” he stressed.

Najib also said that during his administration, the country’s economy was being managed well despite the world’s economic challenges arising from the subprime mortgage in the United States and following the drop in world oil prices.

The Prime Minister said the ringgit, currently at RM3.86 to the US dollar, was strengthening based on market sentiments and fundamentals and it was not something artificial as was the case during the administration of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

As such, he said, the BN wanted to focus on the future agenda of the country to ensure that Malaysia remained ahead of the other countries which were also striving to move forward.

“That’s why I want this (strong) mandate, a fresh mandate from the people," he said when referring to the form of election victory needed to intensify Malaysia’s performance under the BN umbrella.

Touching on the attacks by the opposition including from Dr Mahathir in the run up to the general election this time, Najib said the political campaigning style of the former prime minister was extreme.

“Mahathir’s style is to go to the extreme. What did he not say about (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) then. Also about Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi). Now he is doing the same to me, same modus operandi,” he said.

“To me, he’s teaching the wrong values in society," he said, adding that levelling criticisms was all right but it was unethical to slander someone.

Najib noted that most attacks against him by Dr Mahathir were wildly exaggerated, including on issues such as 1MDB.

Najib said Anwar who is now together with Dr Mahathir in opposition, in his political campaigning before also had hurled all kinds of allegations against Dr Mahathir and his children.

The Prime Minister also admitted the role and influence of social media on voters in this election saying opinions expressed could sway voters.

According to him, some of the opinions expressed on social media were not necessarily the opinion of the majority and at times only those of the minority, while there were also some that were right and others that were wrong.

Najib added the opposition was expected to continue to poison the minds of the people by claiming that the BN would resort to cheating to win the election this time.

He said the election system remained the same and in fact was more transparent than before.

“There's no way for us to cheat. At polling centres, the opposition’s polling agents are also there. If there are 40,000 Bangladeshi voters, there is no way they will miss that,” he said, referring to the fake news on phantom voters that was spread widely during GE13.

According to him, the opposition deliberately raised the fake news to blame BN.

On BN candidates, Najib admitted that it was not an easy task to pick suitable candidates because one who was popular in the party might not be popular with voters and vice-versa.


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