Sarawak not ‘that stupid’ to take Najib back as PM, CM’s aide says after MP’s remark

Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri speaks during IDEAS forum ‘The Next Four Years: What Now for Malaysia?’ in Kuala Lumpur June 28, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri speaks during IDEAS forum ‘The Next Four Years: What Now for Malaysia?’ in Kuala Lumpur June 28, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUCHING, July 3 — Internet users should listen to Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri’s speech in its entirety and not just latch onto the part where she remarked that Sarawakians want Datuk Seri Najib Razak back as prime minister, a chief political aide to the Sarawak chief minister said.

Abdullah Saidol said he does not think Batang Sadong MP personally wanted Najib to return to power, nor the rest of Sarawak.

“If you listen to her whole speech, not just one sentence, she did qualify herself that she was not promoting the former minister,” he said at a dinner with local media here last night organised by the Sarawak Public Communications Unit in the Chief Minister’s Office.

“Sarawak is not that stupid to take someone like him to be back as the prime minister. There is no point for us to take people like him back because he is under investigation for corruption and abuse of power,” he added.

Abdullah, who is also an assistant minister of corporate affairs, sought to explain that Nancy, a former federal minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, was only trying to say that it was the previous government under Barisan Nasional (BN) and not Najib alone that had implemented “good things” for Sarawak.

“There are many others, when they were federal ministers under the previous government, who had allocated funds to Sarawak’s development,” he said.

Nancy is in the limelight following reports of her speech at a forum organised by the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs in Kuala Lumpur on June 28.

“If you talk to a normal Sarawakian, they want Najib back because he went to all the rural areas”.

“I am not trying to promote him, but he knew what Sarawak needed. He went to Sarawak more than 60 times and he tried to make things easier for us,” Nancy said then.

The BN led by Najib lost the 14th general election last year to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

Abdullah, who is also Semop assemblyman, also said he supports a motion, tabled by PH and approved in Parliament yesterday, which seeks to compel all MPs and senators as well as their spouses and children under age 21, to declare their assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

However, he said such declaration must be made “if the law allows it for the purpose of transparency.”

“It must not be for politics. If it is for political agenda, then there is no honesty there,” he said.

He said the declaration of assets by lawmakers is not new to Sarawak, having been initiated in 2014 by the then chief minister, the late Tan Seri Adenan Satem.

He said Adenan and members of the state Cabinet, assemblymen, Sarawak MPs and their political secretaries took their integrity pledge before the MACC chief commissioner and former law minister then.

He said Datuk Abang Johari Openg did the same upon becoming the chief minister.

He said the state government also stationed certified integrity officers (CIOs) in state government departments and agencies to monitor any abuse of power.

He said these CIOs were trained and certified by MACC.

“If you want to know how serious these CIOs are, then you go and ask a senior MACC officer who is stationed at the Chief Minister’s Office,” he said.

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