TAPAH, Jan 27 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today denied that Barisan Nasional (BN) played up racial issues to win the Cameron Highlands by-election.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate M. Manogaran had accused BN of using racial issues to win over voter support in the by-election.
“What he had said is not true. We did not play any racial issues to win votes.
“Instead, we only demanded the rights of the Malays according to the constitution and also the rights of the non-Malays. We did not demand anything more than that,” he told reporters when met at Pasar Tani here.
The DAP candidate, who suffered defeat three times in a row after losing the seat in 13th and 14th general election, including the recent by-election, last night alleged that BN won the Pahang parliamentary seat by playing up racial issues, where the majority of the voters are Malays.
Najib said that PH lost as the Malays believe that DAP is a threat to their rights.
“Malays believed that DAP is a threat to their rights. That’s why the Malays had rejected DAP,” said.
He also that PH had lost the by-election as the people are disappointed with the ruling government administration.
“Not only there, people in Tapah also seem to be disappointed with them. I have received complaints,” he said.
BN retained the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat with a majority of 3,238 votes.
It’s candidate Ramli Mohd Noor secured 12,078 votes, defeated PH’s Manogaran who garnered 8,800 votes and independents candidates Sallehudin Ab Talib, a former lecturer (314 votes) and farmer-activist Wong Seng Yee (276 votes).
Najib also did not take any credit for the role he played in BN’s victory despite the fact that he had campaigned heavily for its Orang Asli Semai tribe candidate.
“I only went there to help the candidate based on the people’s demand and also because of the invitation from the Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
“If people don’t want me to come then I would not go, but if they want me to come, then I will go. Every place is different, I will discuss with the local leaders on the strategy we should implement,” he said when asked whether he will continue his campaign in Semenyih by-election which will held on March 2.
Najib also said his famous campaign tagline “Malu Apa Bossku” (Why shy, my boss), which created a huge fan base among the public, especially youths, was not planned or made by him.
“It came from the public. The idea and graphic designs all came from them. I didn’t print out these T-shirts. Since the public created it, that’s why it has become an instant phenomenon,” he said.
During his stint in Cameron Highlands, the tagline has been a rallying cry among his supporters, especially the youths. In most of the place Najib visited, he was welcomed and cheered with “Malu Apa Bossku” phrase.