Malaysia election: Opposition manipulated the Chinese community, says PM Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: The Opposition, particularly DAP, took the Chinese community for a "good ride" by successfully persuading them into believing they could change the government, despite bumiputra and Indian support remaining with Barisan Nasional, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"I am not blaming the Chinese because they were manipulated by the DAP into believing that they could change the government.

"The Chinese were taken for a good ride by the DAP. They believed this lie and that's why they voted en masse for the DAP although we (Barisan) have helped them so much.

He said the Opposition's "Ubah" (change) slogan gave the community the impression that it was possible to change the government.

However, the reality was that even when majority of the Chinese supported the Opposition, the government did not fall, he said.

"It was a blatant lie to the Chinese.

"The Barisan government has remained intact because the reality is that, with bumiputras and Indians supporting the coalition, the government cannot be changed," he told a press conference after a closed-door briefing with Barisan's newly-elected MPs.

Najib said the lie by the Opposition was similar to the promise made by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to take over Putrajaya on Sept 16 in 2008.

He said if the Chinese had maintained the level of support similar to the 2008 polls, Barisan would have already secured two-thirds' majority.

Asked about Anwar's refusal to accept Barisan's victory, Najib said the Opposition could not be selective and accept results only in states it won, such as Kelantan, Penang and Selangor, while rejecting the outcome in places where it lost.

"If you don't want to accept, then don't accept all the election results. Don't be selective. If you win, you accept (the results) and when you lose, you don't accept it," he said.

Asked whether Barisan's election setback was due to a rural-urban divide in the voting pattern, Najib disagreed, stressing that support for Barisan in some urban areas with large numbers of Malay voters had increased compared with 2008.

He said Umno's tally of 88 seats compared with 79 it won in 2008 showed that Malay support for the party had increased.

"Of course, I am not saying that everyone living in urban areas support Barisan but by and large, the Malay support base has increased even in urban areas," he said.

On suggestions that Umno and PAS should engage in unity talk, Najib said he would wait for further development before taking a stand on the matter.

A 'do or die' election for Najib and Barisan
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: The Star, NSTP, NST, Reuters, AFP)
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