KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib is taking a leaf from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s playbook to stage his political comeback as prime minister a second time, according to DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.
The Iskandar Puteri MP said Najib has taken on a major role for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election as its “campaigner-in-chief” after stepping down as its chairman, overshadowing the current leaders, because of his designs to regain Putrajaya.
“Dare Najib deny that he is in fact asking the voters of Cameron Highlands to spearhead a ‘Save Najib’ campaign to culminate in a Barisan Nasional victory in 15th General Election and his return as Prime Minister?”
“Najib’s motive in the Cameron Highlands by-election is clear ― to use a BN victory in Cameron Highlands as a launching pad for a national ‘Save Najib’ campaign, culminating in the next general election in 2023 for Najib to stage a political comeback and like Tun Mahathir to become the Prime Minister in Malaysia for a second time,” Lim said in a statement today.
Dr Mahathir first served as prime minister from 1981 to 2003 under Barisan Nasional (BN). He returned to active politics nearly 15 years later and became prime minister a second time after winning the Langkawi parliamentary seat in GE14.
The DAP adviser, dubbed the “minister of Najib affairs” by the former prime minister himself, has said the Cameron Highlands vote tomorrow is really a fight between Pakatan Harapan candidate M. Manogaran and Najib, rather than with the Orang Asli pensioned policeman named Ramli Mohd Noor the BN is fielding.
He noted that Najib has not made clear he won’t strive for the prime ministership again after losing it in last year’s general election, but has instead posted a video clip on Facebook where he and a group belted out a revised version of Singaporean group Black Dog Bone’s 1978 hit Hati Ku Luka Lagi, painting himself a victim of political persecution by Pakatan Harapan ahead of his trial over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad grand heist.
Lim also pointed out that Najib had promised to become a prime minister “of all Malaysians” when he rose to the post in 2009, but has been flashing the racial card in the Cameron Highlands campaign, yesterday dismissing PH’s ethnic Indian candidate as incapable of protecting the interests of Malay Muslims in the country, unlike BN and PAS.
“Is Najib saying that a Muslim Prime Minister is not capable of defending the interests of non-Muslim Malaysians? Why can’t non-Muslim political leaders defend the interests of Muslim Malaysians?
“When and why has Najib developed such a forked tongue and propensity for hypocrisy?
Weren’t the former MPs for Cameron Highlands Malays and Muslims?” Lim challenged.
The Cameron Highlands by-election was called after the Election Court voided Datuk C. Sivarraajh’s victory in the May 9 election last year on the basis of bribery.
The constituency has been held by BN’s Indian component party MIC since it was created in 2003, but in a first, the coalition decided to field a candidate of another ethnicity and chose Ramli.
He is being challenged by PH’s Manogaran and two independents, former Aminuddin Baki Institute lecturer Sallehudin Ab Talib and farmer Wong Seng Yee.