Why wait 22 years to complain about electoral system? Najib asks Dr M

Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak (right) giving a press conference during the party’s Supreme Council meeting at Umno Headquarters, Menara Dato’ Onn, Kuala Lumpur on January 30 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak
Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak (right) giving a press conference during the party’s Supreme Council meeting at Umno Headquarters, Menara Dato’ Onn, Kuala Lumpur on January 30 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition he now chairs are revealing their desperation in their bid to take over the country’s government, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

Najib who is the incumbent chairman of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition said that it had become the “norm” for the federal Opposition alliance to seek foreign aid, but asserted that it was “strange” for them to complain about the very electoral system that had kept their new leader as the country’s longest-serving prime minister.

“We don’t see it as something out of the ordinary, but it is strange because the current system practised by the EC is the same system that placed Dr Mahathir as the prime minister for 22 years,” he told reporters, using the abbreviation for the Election Commission.

On January 25, Dr Mahathir and other PH top guns met with 17 European Union (EU) representatives.

“Their attempt to rope in foreign intervention is a norm... they are desperate as they do not have any chance in the country, so they need to use foreign powers to complain to in hopes that if the result later doesn’t favour them, they would be able to dispute it,” Najib added, referring to the recent meeting between PH leaders and EU envoys.

He suggested that the meeting was a tactic for PH leaders to cry for international intervention if it lost in the upcoming 14th general elections.

He also said that contrary to the Opposition’s claims of foul play, his administration has worked to reform the current system from the time Dr Mahathir led the BN government.

“Instead of saying election system in unfair, the question should be why was it for 22 years he did not complain of the same system?” Najib asked a news conference after chairing an Umno supreme council meeting here, referring to Dr Mahathir who was prime minister from 1981 to 2003.

Najib, who is also Umno president, dismissed the idea that the newly-formed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chaired by Dr Mahathir would be able to replace the role of Umno.

He then question PPBM’s management, saying the inability for its party leaders to abide by their own constitution reflects their incapacity to execute a bigger role.

“If we look from the principle of a party’s constitution, we have to abide by it. But I was informed that at their branch and division levels, they did not have any meetings. The next thing you know, they had an assembly at the national level.

“We do not know where their delegates came from, or how they were selected. Therefore the management of the party can be questioned based on their own constitution that were formed and approved by themselves,” Najib said.