Friday, 29 February 2008

Najib speaks on election issues on Aljazeera

In an Q & A interview with the Aljazeera Channel East 101, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, touched on various election issues - press and campaigning freedom, sedition, balloting transparency, Hindraf and the Government's liberal stance.

The Aljazeera media team had travelled nationwide to gauge the election campaign. Here's the transcript of the interview. - NST online

Q. On the conduct of the electoral process. The group BERSIH has provided with us some details on what they way are anomalies in the process. Do you think the registration and the voting practices are completely clean?

A. Yes, its very transparent. It is very fair. We have lost the elections before. In fact, the entire state of Kelantan is controlled by PAS. And the present state government has survived for a number of years on the basis of having one seat more than Barisan Nasional. And that one seat which they won, they won by a majority of two. If BERSIH claims that the process is not fair and is not transparent and that we have the means of exploiting the elections results, don’t tell me we cannot find three more votes to change the situation.

Q. I have a list here of at least 100 people over the age of 100 registered as voters.

A. It is possible that the names of people who have died in the past, their names are still on the list. But they will not appear as voters. The opposition parties also have polling agents. They can verify those names.

Q. There have been instances where dead people have turned up to vote.

A. Let us find out and let them bring it up to the Elections Commission.

Q. The DAP recently called this the most important election in Malaysia’s history because they perceive a very strong move towards greater Islamisation of what is the historically a secular state and they worry about issues which marginalise those who are not Muslims. Do they have a reason to be concerned?

A. No. We have not changed the fundamental policies. But the irony is that they have some sort of political understanding with PAS, which has a much more Islamic agenda, which is they want to turn Malaysia into a theocratic Islamic state. That is an agenda we do not have. They are political partners.

Q. Does that suggest they are desperate?

A. Yes, absolutely. It is just a political ploy on the part of DAP. How can you present an electorate when you cannot even agree on a common policy let alone a common symbol? They don’t even have a common symbol. So they are not really an alternative to the present Barison Nasional.

Q. On the issue of freedom of speech. There have been a number of attempted rallies in Kuala Lumpur in the past few months which have been denied permission to take place and there have been a bit unpleasantness. Why is it that the government is so cautious about public rallies?

A. Because most of the demonstrations that have been organised are street demonstrations. When there are street demonstrations, there is very little control about what’s likely to happen. As you know some of the demonstrations that have been organized have resulted in some physical clashes and there is the risk (not withstanding the risk of businesses being affected) that could spark off retaliatory demonstrations by others who are opposed to some of the issues carried by these groups.

Q. On the HINDRAF rally recently. What you say demonstration they would call it a rally, with the point of trying to present a petition to the Prime Minister at Parliament. They were a rather modest crowd of 700 people and yet the force of police that turned out against them was much higher and rather immediate. Where was the threat?

A. The threat can come first of all (from) the people who are involved in this who may resort to throwing stones. That actually happened in the Batu Caves area, organised by HINDRAF. Secondly there is also the danger that other groups for example the Malays in Kampung Baru, who can get quite agitated and they may organize their demonstrations and this could lead to something very serious in terms of a multiracial society.

To continue click here and to listen to the interview click here


puteri said...

Nothing but bullshit. What coverage? How much coverage has the msm (RTM, TV3, NST, the Star, Utusan) given to the Opposition?

Let us find out and let them bring it (list of at least 100 people over the age of 100 registered as voters) up to the Elections Commission.

Ayo Najib, when? After the general election?

Hi&Lo said...

Political Islam does more damage than the Danish cartoons. Why? Cos it uses the good name of Islam to oppress, whilst the enemies of Islam you can distinguish.

No, not political Islam but any religion for the matter which muddles into politics.

Muslims say Islam is a way of life. I agree fully. We cannot compartmentalise our faith. Whether at home or in public if we live up to the the tenets of our beliefs, it is already making its presence felt.