Najib doesn't see a Malay tsunami happening in elections

Flags of Parti Amanah Negara, a moderate Islamic party, and Chinese-led Democratic Action Party (DAP) near a DAP election centre in Butterworth. The two are members of the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance led by former prime minister Mahathir Moha
Flags of Parti Amanah Negara, a moderate Islamic party, and Chinese-led Democratic Action Party (DAP) near a DAP election centre in Butterworth. The two are members of the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. Prime Minister Najib Razak said a Malay tsunami would mean rejection of Umno, and he does not see that happening. He also added that Chinese voters stand to get a better deal with the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Mood and sentiment among people even better than in 2013 election, says BN leader

PUTRAJAYA • It is unlikely that there will be a Malay tsunami in the upcoming general election, says Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, referring to the much-hyped prediction that ethnic Malay voters could swing en masse towards the opposition.

"I don't detect a Malay tsunami. Malay tsunami would mean a rejection of Umno. I don't see that (happening).

"We had taken part in by-elections (before that served) as a test as well as an assessment of the (Malay) feelings on the ground. I don't see a Malay tsunami," he told senior editors at his office in Putrajaya on Wednesday.

Datuk Seri Najib is president of Umno, the Malay party that leads the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition. He is also chairman of BN.

Mr Najib, who has been visiting various states in the run-up to the general election, said the mood and sentiment among the people were good, even better than in the last general election in 2013.

BN secured a simple majority but lost the popular vote in the last elections, an outcome that was blamed on a Chinese tsunami - when members of the Chinese community shifted to vote for the opposition.

As for Chinese voters' mood this time round, Mr Najib said it was hard to say.

"MCA says the Chinese will come back (to BN)," he said, referring to BN component party Malaysian Chinese Association.

"For the Chinese voters, you will only detect (the voting patterns at the) last minute because they are strategic voters," he said. "They will vote based on certain considerations. So, we don't know yet for sure. Nobody knows for sure."

However, Mr Najib emphasised that the Chinese would get a better deal with BN, particularly in terms of having a stronger representation in the government.

He said: "I can't keep on giving four or five ministerial (posts) if they don't support BN. So, they (Chinese voters) have to make a choice.

"If the country prospers, so will the Chinese. If we move strongly economically, the Chinese community in the country will benefit."

Talk is rife that the Prime Minister will announce the dissolution of Parliament today to pave the way for the country's 14th general election.

Earlier, the Prime Minister assured civil servants that the government is committed to advancing the public sector and looking after the welfare of its 1.6 million staff who serve the people and the country.

Mr Najib said this commitment by the government of the day is in contrast with the opposition, which continues to criticise and run down public officers.

Addressing some 10,000 civil servants from both federal and state offices at the annual civil service assembly on Wednesday, Mr Najib said he was saddened by derogatory statements made by the opposition, with some labelling public officers as people of no significance.

"Let them have that attitude. What is for sure is that civil servants can always depend on the Barisan-led government to look after and defend them," he told the crowd.

Mr Najib said that in his 40 years in politics, civil servants had played an important role in helping him serve the country.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2018, with the headline 'Najib doesn't see a Malay tsunami happening in elections'. Print Edition | Subscribe