Malaysia Votes 2018

Najib says he accepts verdict of the people

Former premier Najib Razak said the 79 seats Barisan Nasional won would be considered as a mandate of "great responsibility".
Former premier Najib Razak said the 79 seats Barisan Nasional won would be considered as a mandate of "great responsibility". ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

In his first appearance since his party's shock loss, former prime minister Najib Razak said yesterday morning that the King would determine who the next prime minister would be because no single party has a simple majority.

"According to the Constitution, it will be based on who has the confidence of the majority in the Dewan Rakyat," he told a press conference.

"We trust the wisdom of the King to make the best choice," he said, in an indication that he was stopping short of conceding power.

The Election Commission's official results tally early yesterday morning showed that Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its allies had surpassed the 112 seats required to gain control of the 222-seat Parliament, with its haul of 121 seats.

PH's member parties contested the election under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat logo, winning 104 seats.

But PH member Democratic Action Party used its own logo in Sabah and Sarawak, winning nine seats, and Parti Warisan Sabah, which has said it will support PH, won eight seats.

Datuk Seri Najib's Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition won 79 seats, a far cry from the 133 seats it garnered in the last election in 2013.

PH leader Mahathir Mohamad, 92, claimed victory early yesterday morning.

  • 79 Number of parliamentary seats won by Datuk Seri Najib Razak's Barisan Nasional coalition. It had secured 133 seats in 2013.

In an eight-minute address in Malay later yesterday, Mr Najib said he accepted the verdict of the people and that BN is committed to respecting the principles of parliamentary democracy.

The 65-year-old BN chairman made his sombre statement at Umno headquarters in Putra World Trade Centre, flanked by party leaders including Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Mr Khairy Jamaluddin.

Mr Najib said he was committed to ensuring the best decision in the interests of the people and the country.

"Malaysia is a special country, I and my colleagues feel honoured to have led the country. I want to thank my colleagues in BN again, and their families for their support for BN," he said in a quivering voice.

He began his statement by noting that there was no cheating by BN during the general election, contrary to "defamatory and seditious statements" saying likewise.

"There was no cheating by Barisan Nasional members," he said.

There had also been rumours on Wednesday night that the National Security Council had met and was going to declare a state of emergency.

"That was another lie, there was no such meeting," he said.

He also noted that since he took the helm in 2009, his government had tried its best to ensure people's quality of life and the future of the next generation.

"Poverty levels are their lowest, we have world-class infrastructure and the economy has grown to a level we can be proud of, as verified by IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank," he said.

"We did our best, but I admit there were some imperfections, but our priority has always been to ensure the security and prosperity of Malaysians.

"Now, the rakyat (people) will wait and see if the promises by (Pakatan Harapan) that were made in their manifesto and speeches are kept," said Mr Najib.

Despite the poor showing by BN, Mr Najib said the 79 seats won were a mandate of "great responsibility".

"We will carry out our responsibilities so that the rakyat can trust Barisan more in the future," he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2018, with the headline Najib says he accepts verdict of the people. Subscribe