NAJIB Razak last night showed why he’s still the boss in Umno when he managed to upstage everyone, including the party president at the Barisan Nasional-PAS national cooperation event in Pekan Nanas.
In a 30-minute speech, thousands cheered Najib as he attacked Pakatan Harapan in BN’s mega-ceramah in Kg Lubok Sawah, Pekan Nenas.
Every time th MC Ahmad Maslan shouted “Malu apa?”, the crowd responded by shouting “Bosku”.
Fresh from having his defence being called in the SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption case, Najib began with a gusto.
“The country has gotten worse in the last 18 months under Pakatan. It’s worse than the BN era and we miss the BN era, don’t we,” said Najib.
“My anger is because they lied but in our system of democracy, we have to wait five years before we can do something about it. So, use this by-election as a referendum against the government,” said the Pekan MP.
According to Najib, his priority when he was prime minister was always about the people’s interest.
To promote the demand for oil palm, Najib said his administration cultivated good ties with India and China.
“But this government has upset both countries and India now says it wants to reduce its oil palm imports. This government’s foreign policy is not right,” Najib.
He said BN also had big plans for Johor.
“We would have had the high-speed rail (HSR) linking Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and built a six-lane highway from Ayer Hitam to Johor Baru. Johor would have become the new economic powerhouse in Malaysia.”
If BN were still in power, said Najib, there would be more cash handouts under BR1M, better increments for civil servants and higher dividend payout from Tabung Haji.
Under Najib’s administration several agencies, such as Felda and Tabung Haji, racked up huge losses and are now being bailed out by the government.
His administration also entered into lopsided deals with China, resulting in overvalued projects, such as the East Coast Rail Link or non-existent Sabah gas pipeline project.
Former Felda chairman Isa Samad, who was appointed by the Najib administration, was charged with 10 counts of corruption last year.
Najib himself is facing several trials for corruption and abuse of power involving the failed 1Malaysia Development Bhd. His wife, Rosmah Mansor, his then deputy prime minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor have also been charged with corruption.
But the facts did not stop Najib from appealing to the crowd to vote for MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng.
“If we have any doubts about MCA, they are the friends who supported all our decisions in the past.
“As such, you must see the bigger picture and ensure they win on Saturday. Victory in Tg Piai means a step closer to Putrajaya.
“They say BN and PAS cannot win mixed seats. But if we can win here, we will prove that the national cooperation (muafakat national) is bigger.
“It is not just a victory for Wee or MCA but a victory for our muafakat and Islam,” said Najib.
Despite having their accounts frozen, BN’s mega-ceramah had all the razz of their previous years.
Besides featuring popular nasyid band Rabbani, the main stage was also flanked by two big screens.
Although, there were other speakers such as Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Terengganu Menteri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar and Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, Najib outshone them.
MCA was represented by president Dr Wee Ka Siong and vice-president Ti Lian Ker.
BN, Pakatan race to bring back outstation voters
WITH just a day left before Tg Piai heads to the polls, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan are in a race to bring outstation voters back.
There is even a “Jom Balik Undi” campaign, believed to be by PH, providing free buses from Johor Baru to Pekan Nanas in Pontian today and tomorrow.
Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin said there are between 7,000 and 8,000 (about 12-15%) outstation voters in Tg Piai who work in Johor Baru, Singapore and the Klang Valley.
The Immigration Department will provide special lanes for voters returning to Tg Piai from Singapore today and tomorrow.
The special lanes will operate from noon today till 4pm on polling day tomorrow. The dedicated lanes are at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar and the Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar.
Pontian voter Ramli Waidi told The Malaysian Insight that his son will be coming back from Batu Pahat to vote for BN’s Wee Jeck Seng tomorrow.
“We never saw the previous MP and Wee is okay,” said the 59-year-old.
Another Pontian resident Rap’eah Som said all her four children, who work in Johor Baru, will also be back to vote for BN.
“I want an MP who works for the people.”
Kukup voter Syed Niah Noor Hong said two of his six children who work outside Tg Piai will also be back to vote.
“When my son was sick, the previous MP Dr Md Farid Md Rafik used to come and visit us. I want a candidate who can help us as we fishermen are poor.”
Ang Seng Bee, who has two children working in Singapore, also expects her children to be back tomorrow.
“They come back every week and they will surely vote, too. PH is good, but I want pick someone who can help us locally,” said Ang.
But Tan Cheng Yong said only his son will be back to vote.
“My two daughters can’t make it back this time. I used to support PH but maybe I will vote for Wee as he has helped us a lot,” said the Kukup resident.
The by-election was called following the death of incumbent Farid on September 21.
Tg Piai has 52,986 voters, consisting of 57.6% Malays, Chinese (41.4%) and Indians (1%).
The fight for the parliamentary seat will be a six-way contest among PH, BN, Gerakan, Berjasa and two independents.