TAWAU – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today said he would not bow to pressure and quit the post of Prime Minister or as UMNO President as long as there was support from the people and UMNO members.
Najib said the people and members of UMNO were strongly behind his leadership as the Prime Minister and UMNO President.
“I will only bow to the people and party members. As long as the people and members of UMNO support me and have trust in my leadership, I will continue to carry on,” he said in front of more than 40,000 people who had gathered at the Perbandaran Tawau field in conjunction with the ‘Sabahans Solidarity Gathering’ with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, programme, here today.
Najib’s assurance and strong resistance was welcomed by a thunderous applause and drum beats from more than 40,000 people who had filled every inch of the field.
By far, it was the first time the Prime Minister had openly come out with a strong-worded statement since coming under heavy criticism and calls to quit from former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Najib said the mandate to become the Prime Minister and UMNO President was given to him by the people through a democratic process right from Padang Besar in Perlis to Pulau Sebatik in Tawau, Sabah.
The Prime Minister’s call for a show of support from the people of Sabah was answered in grand fashion by the crowd with three cheers calling out ‘Najib, Najib, Najib’ and followed by a thunderous applause.
Najib when reinforcing his stand to remain steadfast, recited a Bugis saying ‘Kendati tergantung awan di langit. Telah terlanjur kubentang layar. Walau badai datang menggunung. Walau berdentum guruh di langit, walau bumi berkeping dua, tak kan mungkin ku berbalik haluan’ which simply meant he would continue to weather the storm and not retreat from the ‘battle’.
He said every leader, including himself, would have to face severe tests during their tenure as leaders and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad too was no exception since he too had gone through even more tests during his tenure as Prime Minister for 22 years.
“Who said there were no tests. During the Team A and Team B test (Dr Mahathir) nearly lost. Almost 50 percent of the UMNO members called him to step down. But what was his answer? “Even if I win by a single vote, I will continue to be the Prime Minister. Oh! That was a great answer.
“In 1987, I was among those who supported him. Why he (Dr Mahathir)remained as Prime Minister? Because we were united in difficult times. When in difficult times we support him to remain in power. If we did not support the leader during trying times, Dr Mahathir would not have been the Prime Minister for 22 years,” said Najib to a loud reception from the crowd.
“Therefore, do not forget the past, when he (Dr Mahathir) was the Prime Minister, we fully supported him. Now he is not the Prime Minister, so return the support. Even if cannot support, don’t make too much noise and disrupt the party. We can clarify the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue,” he said.
He said Dr Mahathir’s statement about 1MDB was also misleading and contradicting because at one time he says 1MDB lost RM42 billion and then says 1MDB did not lose but owes RM42 billion.
Najib said given time, the government has its own way of solving the issue.
The Prime Minister said when Tabung Haji (TH) bought a plot of land from 1MDB, it was an investment and not a bailout because TH can make a profit of RM170 million but since the purchase had become an issue, he (Najib) had advised TH to sell the land instead.
Najib said by selling the asset, TH can earn about RM5 to RM6 million although the profit would have been RM170 million if the asset was retained, thus it was indeed a loss to the depositors in the pilgrimage fund.
“Since the facts of the purchase has been twisted and became a hot topic, you can say it was like ‘shooting oneself in the foot’. This is what I call ‘not rationale’ because why are we doing this?, for the benefit of the people, so, give us a chance to do it. Every issue can be solved but let the leaders solve such issues,” he said.
Najib said looking at the support he had received, he was more determined to face the challenges.
Also present were Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin and Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Kalabakan Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh and Sabah Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan. – BERNAMA