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KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak urged Malaysians today to demand that the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government fulfils its promises of cheap petrol, free toll and a waiver of higher education loan payments.
In an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini, Najib said that Malaysians must hold the new administration accountable to the promises they made in pursuit of winning the 14th general election on May 9.
“For the rakyat to be deprived of the things they voted for, I think that is an injustice. I think the rakyat must demand, that on that day (May 9), they voted for all these things, for cheap petrol, free toll and PTPTN (higher education loan) to be waived,” said Najib.
“If they do not demand, then I think the Malaysian people are not doing justice to themselves.”
Najib also reportedly said time will tell if there will be real change in Malaysia or if Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will revert to his old ways as seen during the latter’s first stint in office.
“So I think I would like to reserve that comment. Let people judge for themselves. Otherwise, people would say I am biased.
“But I do hope it would be for the better because they voted for change,” Najib was quoted as saying.
In the interview, he also emphasised that PH’s promises were unrealistic and said stumbling blocks in the execution of the government’s first 100-days pledges came as no surprise.
“We know they could not (deliver). Simply could not. When it (the manifesto) came out, we did our calculations quickly. Sweet promises which we knew were populist but unrealistic,” he told the online portal.
“I think the script is that it was because of our management (things cannot be done) and of course, they accuse me of corruption which is preposterous.”
He also stressed that the national debt was RM686 billion, not RM1 trillion as claimed by the PH administration.
Najib was recently charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power involving the alleged misappropriation of funds amounting to RM42 million linked to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a then-subsidiary of state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
His bail was set at RM1 million, for which he paid in two instalments.
The first RM500,000 was paid on July 4 while the remaining was paid earlier today with the help of donations collected from a #FreeNajib campaign.